If you’ve been affected by physical abuse in an intimate relationship, you’re not alone. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in three women and one in four men have experienced physical violence by a romantic partner. For many, it can be tough to identify the extent of the abuse or its impact on your psychological and physical health. If that’s the case for you, you might consider speaking with a trusted friend or a mental health professional. It takes a lot of strength to reach out for help, and while it can feel daunting, it may provide useful guidance on next steps. Exploring online resources — including hotlines, organizations, and shelters — can also be a helpful way to navigate your situation, especially if you choose to leave your relationship. That’s why we created a list of available, free resources for those experiencing abuse in a romantic relationship or domestic partnership.
Hotlines with confidential chat, phone, and/or text support
1. The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, 24/7 support to survivors of domestic violence. Callers can be directed to information about crisis intervention, education about domestic violence, and referral services. In addition to providing an interactive safety plan and essential information on how to identify abuse, the organization also offers a directory of local resources — including shelters, support groups, legal advocacy, and childcare help.
2. Love Is Respect: 866-331-9474
Love Is Respect offers support and guidance to young people between the ages 13 and 26 who want to better understand their intimate relationships. Along with its chat, phone, and text support, Love Is Respect has quizzes and articles that can help you determine whether your relationship is healthy or not. If someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and you want to help, check out the organization’s page on supporting survivors.
3. RAINN: 800-656-4673
RAINN, which operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, is the largest organization dedicated to ending sexual violence in the United States. It offers detailed information related to sexual violence, including grooming warning signs, bystander intervention, survivor stories, and safety and prevention. If you would like direct support, you can use its chat or hotline services.
Organizations with useful information on domestic abuse
WomensLaw.org offers legal information to anyone with questions about domestic violence, sexual violence, and other topics. On its website, you can find state-by-state legal information, online information clinics, a directory of local shelters, and detailed articles on abuse. If you have specific concerns or questions, you can contact the organization’s email hotline for personalized guidance. It’s important to note that the organization is accessible and relevant to people of all gender identities.
5. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) supports efforts that help survivors of domestic abuse. It offers monthly advocacy webinars, an annual conference, education and research on domestic violence, and different programs that support survivors. NCADV also has safety plans, tips for accessing resources, articles on abuse, and information on how to take action.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is an advocacy organization focused on helping domestic violence survivors and their supporters on a national level. It brings local resources to communities, works on policy-driven initiatives, and provides state coalitions with information on domestic violence. On NNEDV’s resource page, you can find toolkits for transitional housing, tech safety and privacy, and financial abuse, along with many others.
7. Futures Without Violence
FUTURES works to end violence against women and children by providing programs and campaigns that empower survivors and their advocates. The organization is also dedicated to improving the health care response to domestic violence survivors. Its National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence program offers an online toolkit for health care providers and advocates, educational videos, and news updates on domestic violence.
Shelters for those looking for a safe place to stay
8. Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon provides social services for victims of violence and abuse. It operates four multilingual hotlines and eight domestic violence shelters. Its shelters, which are located throughout New York City, are short-term, emergency options for people under the age of 21. The shelters provide case management, counseling, safety planning, employment and housing assistance, and a host of other resources.
9. Domestic Shelters
DomesticShelters.org makes it easier for people experiencing domestic violence to find direct support and local services. It has a searchable directory of shelters and programs, online forums, events for survivors, a 24/7 hotline, and various risk assessments. You can find local shelters by simply entering your zip code and preferred language.
The bottom line
Physical abuse can be difficult to acknowledge and identify — especially when an intimate partner is involved. But recognizing the abuse is the first step in getting help and moving forward. Consider speaking to a friend or a therapist, reaching out to an agency or organization, and exploring online resources that support survivors of domestic violence. You deserve to feel safe, supported, and loved.