U.S. Domestic Violence Centers and Shelters
Domestic violence can happen to any person, at any time. While statistics show that a majority of victims are women, individuals of all ages, races, sexual orientation and socioeconomic statuses are affected. Men are also victims of domestic violence and often suffer similar physical and mental injuries inflicted by another person. Most people think about violence taking place within the confines of an intimate relationship, but abuse can occur in other familial relationships, friendships and even at work. Regardless of where it takes place or how severe the situation, the victims need resources to break free and avoid any more abuse.
How These Centers Can Help
Each domestic violence center or shelter works to provide clients with a set of services to help them get away from the negative situation and begin to put their lives back together. A hotline offers victims the opportunity to talk to someone who understands the situation and can provide direction when it comes to getting help. Most hotlines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With one phone call, the victim learns more about the various options and the support available.
Aside from providing a place to stay and someone to talk to, centers and shelters also offer opportunities for the victim to meet with a legal representative to learn about how to permanently dissolve the relationship and take action against the abuser. Victims can get help through individual or group counseling as well as support groups. If being away from home means starting over, centers provide employment programs, educational opportunities and sometimes financial assistance.
You Are Not the Victim
It is important to remember that the person actually being physically abused is not the only victim in the situation. If children live in the home, they have been exposed to the violence either directly or indirectly. Shelters and centers offer services for children to help them deal with what they have seen and heard. The goal is to make the transition as easy as possible for the children and make sure that all of their needs are taken care of during this time.
Domestic Violence Resources
- List of Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers By State
- The United States Department of Justice: Domestic Violence: Aside from physical abuse, there are several other ways that an individual can be terrorized in his or her own home.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Violence Prevention: With tips for how to prevent violence, the site also offers links to the latest news and developments in domestic violence.
- United States Domestic Violence Awareness: Various links about domestic violence are included on the site. A Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook offers insight into how everyone can help stop the cycle.
- Domestic Violence and Children: “The Future of Children” takes a closer look at how domestic violence affects the children at home who witness the abuse. States are increasing the attention focused on children inside these abusive homes.
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: The site offers an explanation of battering and discusses the types of individuals who may be affected.