How to Get Help As a Victim of Domestic Abuse When You’re Afraid

Domestic violence and abuse may occur behind closed doors oftentimes, but even though it goes unseen, in the U.S. alone, 20 people per minute are physically abused by a partner. 

The reality is you or someone else could experience abuse without anyone knowing, so not only is it important to recognize the signs of violence, it’s essential to know what steps you could take to get help—even if you’re scared to say anything. 

It’s normal to be afraid to speak up for yourself or even a loved one. But we’ve rounded up a list of domestic violence resources to help you, or anyone experiencing abuse, plan their next steps and find support, even without having to verbally say anything in some instances. Here are four organizations that offer services and information about domestic violence to know: 

1. The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

Like any hotline, this one offers free around-the-clock support for anyone in an abusive situation by phone. But if you don’t want to speak aloud for whatever reason, you can chat confidentially with an advocate on their online portal. You can also text “START” to 88788 to find support. 

2. Pandora’s Project 

This nonprofit, staffed by volunteers who are survivors of domestic violence, provides support and resources to survivors and their friends and family. Pandora’s Project offers peer support through their online group, Pandora’s Aquarium, message boards, chat rooms, and blogs, and it’s 100% free to join.

3. The National Network to End Domestic Violence 

This organization offers a wide array of resources for survivors and anyone experiencing domestic violence. One of their initiatives is the Independence Project, a program to help survivors improve their credit scores through micro-lending. 

4. WomensLaw.org

If you need legal assistance to remove yourself from a situation, this organization provides expert help and information about state laws regarding domestic violence. On their website, you can explore a national directory of advocates, shelters, and lawyers who provide free or low-cost services. 

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