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Steps to take if you experience domestic violence

Domestic violence is a deeply troubling experience that no one should have to endure. If you find yourself in this situation, assistance is available.

Knowing what to do when threatened by your partner can help you stay safe.

Prioritize your safety

If you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call emergency services. If possible, find a safe place away from the abuser. Avoid confrontations that could escalate the situation.

If you have injuries as a result of domestic violence, get medical help right away. Visit a healthcare facility to ensure your injuries are properly documented and treated. Medical professionals can connect you with resources to address the emotional and psychological impact of abuse.

Reach out to loved ones

Connecting with a trusted friend or family member can provide emotional support and a sense of security. Share your experience with someone you trust. Let them know about your situation so they can offer assistance and understanding.

Call a domestic violence hotline

Local and national domestic violence hotlines are available 24/7 to provide support, guidance and resources. Reach out to speak with trained professionals who can connect you with shelters, counseling services and other needs.

Create a safety plan

Developing a safety plan can help you navigate domestic violence situations. This plan should include steps for leaving the home safely and identifying secure places to go. Have essential items such as identification and important documents readily accessible.

Contact law enforcement

You may decide to involve the police when you experience domestic violence. Officers can assist in ensuring your immediate safety. They can also provide information on obtaining a protective order or restraining order against the abuser.

More than 1.3 Americans experienced domestic violence in 2022 alone. Following these steps can help you find a way out of an abusive situation.