If you know someone who is being abused by her partner…
“The abuse can’t be that bad, besides I know her partner would never do any
serious harm.”
Many abusers are charming and nonviolent in other situations but can be extremely
dangerous in their homes. Battering is a crime and it is often devastating for those
living with it. Thirty percent of women murdered in the United States are murdered
by their intimate partners.
“The abuser must be sick, crazy, or has an alcohol or drug problem.”
Even if the abuser does have an addiction, is mentally ill, was abused as a child, or is
stressed, that does not excuse the violence. Battering is a learned behavior.
“I wish she would just leave.”
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. She has a lot of things to think about: Where is
she going to live? How will she support herself? Her partner knows where she works,
will she have to change jobs? Will her kids have to change schools? Will she lose
custody of them? If they have joint custody, how will she protect them from abuse if
she isn’t around? Will her partner ignore a restraining order? If her partner is another
woman, will she be outed? Will she be killed if she seeks a divorce?
“I know it’s hard but won’t leaving make things better?”
Women are often in great danger of injury or death when they take steps to leave a
relationship with an abuser. Ending the relationship is not the same thing as ending
the violence. Many women are stalked, harassed, and assaulted when they leave. If
she decides she wants to leave, she will need to plan carefully to leave as safely as
“Aren’t there public agencies, courts, police, and others who can keep her safe?”
They can certainly help but there are no guarantees. The Secret Service, with all its
manpower and resources, cannot keep the President safe from someone determined to
be violent.
“So what CAN she do?”
She can contact a domestic violence project to learn her legal rights and options, find
out about resources available in her community, and receive support and crisis
She may be eligible for a restraining order. A restraining order is an order from a
judge warning the abuser to stop the violence and to stay away from the protected
person. It can also order other things to help keep women safe such as: who gets to
stay in the home, child custody, visitation, and support, etc. She should contact her
local clerk of court or domestic violence project for more information about
restraining orders.
She can make a safety plan. She can plan ahead of time for what she would do and
what she would need if she had to leave in an emergency. She can make copies of
important papers, keys, etc., and keep them and a change of clothes in a safe place.
She can arrange a special signal to tell the neighbors that she’s in trouble and needs
them to call 911.
She knows her partner best so she is the expert on her situation. But even an expert
needs information and support.

“What can I do?”
Become knowledgeable about domestic violence.
Give her the number of a domestic violence project.
Do not take choices out of her hands. Acting without her permission could put her in
greater danger. There are two exceptions to this: if an assault is occurring you should
call 911, and if you are a mandatory child abuse reporter, you must report if you
believe that child abuse is happening.
Listen and be supportive.
“I feel awkward bringing up the abuse.”
If it is hard for you, imagine what it is like being the one who is abused. Here are
some conversation starters:
What’s it like at home for you?
Are you ever scared of your partner?
How does your partner handle it when s/he doesn’t get his/her way?
Sometimes when people have injuries like yours it’s because they were hurt by their
partner. Is that happening to you?
“What else should I say to her?”
You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
There is help available.
You do not deserve to be treated this way.
I believe you.
I’m afraid for your safety.
It usually gets worse, not better.
I’m here for you. In what way can I be helpful?
“Is there anything I should not say?”
You shouldn’t put up with this.
Why don’t you just leave him/her?
Why do you let him/her do this to you?
How did you get involved with someone like this?
What did you do to provoke it?
What could you do to stop your partner from abusing you?
He/she is a real jerk (loser, slime, etc.)
You should go to marriage counseling together.
“But I want her to be safe now.”
Give it time. There is often a long time between people getting information about
resources and their willingness to act on it. They have to be very careful before they
make a move. Some women have carried the number of a crisis center around for
several years before they felt it was time to use it.
Don’t take a “tough love” approach. No matter how firm you are with her, she will
not leave her partner because you issue her ultimatums. She will leave when she feels
ready and when she thinks it is her safest option.

“What help is out there?”

There are many domestic violence projects in Iowa. Domestic violence projects, also
known as battered women shelters, do a lot more than provide a safe place to stay.
They provide advocacy, information, counseling, support, and referrals. There are
also state and national domestic violence hotlines that can give you more information
and help you find a project near you.
Iowa Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-942-0333

Planning a safe getaway!

Safety planning for someone involved in an abusive relationship is a necessary and important step. Planning can be used while you are still with your abuser or after the relationship has ended. While still in an abusive relationship, your safety is of primary importance.
Safety Plan Guidelines

* Personal Safety with an Abuser
* Getting Ready to Leave
* General Guidelines for Leaving an Abusive Relationship
* After Leaving the Abusive Relationship
* For a Printable Personal Safety Plan Click Here

These safety suggestions have been compiled from safety plans distributed by state domestic violence coalitions from around the country. Following these suggestions is not a guarantee of safety, but could help to improve your safety situation.

Personal Safety with an Abuser

* Identify your partner’s use and level of force so that you can assess danger to you and your children before it occurs.
* Try to avoid an abusive situation by leaving.
* Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
* Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
* If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target; dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
* If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest pay phone is located. Know the phone number to your local battered women’s shelter. Don’t be afraid to call the police.
* Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
* Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house.
* Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
* Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
* Plan for what you will do if your children tell your partner of your plan or if your partner otherwise finds out about your plan.
* Keep weapons like guns and knives locked away and as inaccessible as possible.
* Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver’s door unlocked and others locked — for a quick escape.
* Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
* Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day or night.
* Call a domestic violence hotline periodically to assess your options and get a supportive understanding ear.

Getting Ready to Leave

* Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures.
* Know where you can go to get help; tell someone what is happening to you.
* If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
* Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
* Contact your local battered women’s shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.
* Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible.
* Acquire job skills or take courses at a community college as you can.
* Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.

General Guidelines for Leaving an Abusive Relationship

* You may request a police stand-by or escort while you leave.
* If you need to sneak away, be prepared.
* Make a plan for how and where you will escape.
* Plan for a quick escape.
* Put aside emergency money as you can.
* Hide an extra set of car keys.
* Pack an extra set of clothes for yourself and your children and store them at a trusted friend or neighbor’s house. Try to avoid using the homes of next-door neighbors, close family members and mutual friends.
* Take with you important phone numbers of friends, relatives, doctors, schools, etc., as well as other important items, including:
o Driver’s license
o Regularly needed medication
o Credit cards or a list of credit cards you hold yourself or jointly
o Pay stubs
o Checkbooks and information about bank accounts and other assets
* If time is available, also take:
o Citizenship documents (such as your passport, green card, etc.)
o Titles, deeds and other property information
o Medical records
o Children’s school and immunization records
o Insurance information
o Copy of marriage license, birth certificates, will and other legal documents
o Verification of social security numbers
o Welfare identification
o Valued pictures, jewelry or personal possessions

You may also create a false trail. Call motels, real estate agencies and schools in a town at least six hours away from where you plan to relocate. Ask questions that require a call back to your house in order to leave phone numbers on record.

After Leaving the Abusive Relationship

If getting a restraining order and the offender is leaving:

* Change your locks and phone number.
* Change your work hours and route taken to work.
* Change the route taken to transport children to school.
* Keep a certified copy of your restraining order with you at all times.
* Inform friends, neighbors and employers that you have a restraining order in effect.
* Give copies of the restraining order to employers, neighbors and schools along with a picture of the offender.
* Call law enforcement to enforce the order.

If you leave:

* Consider renting a post office box or using the address of a friend for your mail.
* Be aware that addresses are on restraining orders and police reports.
* Be careful to whom you give your new address and phone number.
* Change your work hours, if possible.
* Alert school authorities of the situation.
* Consider changing your children’s schools.
* Reschedule appointments that the offender is aware of.
* Use different stores and frequent different social spots.
* Alert neighbors and request that they call the police if they feel you may be in danger.

* Talk to trusted people about the violence.
* Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors. Install security systems if possible.
* Install a motion sensitive lighting system.
* Tell people you work with about the situation and have your calls screened by one receptionist if possible.
* Tell people who take care of your children who can pick up your children. Explain your situation to them and provide them with a copy of the restraining order.
* Call the telephone company to request caller ID. Ask that your phone number be blocked so that if you call anyone, neither your partner nor anyone else will be able to get your new, unlisted phone number.

All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1998 by the National Center for Victims of Crime. This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.

http://www.ndvh.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/National Domestic Violence Hotline link

To find help in your state, call the National Domestic Violence
Hotline. To find out more information about domestic violence in your
state, call or write to one of the following state coalitions.

US Virgin Islands / Puerto

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P. O. Box 4762

Montgomery, AL 36101

(334) 832-4842 Fax: (334) 832-4803

(800) 650-6522 Hotline

Website: http://www.acadv.org

Email: acadv@acadv.org

Alaska Network on Domestic and Sexual Violence

130 Seward Street, Room 209

Juneau, AK 99801

(907) 586-3650 Fax: (907) 463-4493

Website: http://www.andvsa.org

Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence

100 W. Camelback Suite 109,

Phoenix, AZ 85013

(602) 279-2900 Fax: (602) 279-2980

(800) 782-6400 Nationwide

Website: http://www.azcadv.org

Email: acadv@azadv.org

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 170

Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 907-5612 Fax: (501) 907-5618

(800) 269-4668 Nationwide

Website: http://www.domesticpeace.com

Email: kbangert@domesticpeace.com

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

P. O. Box 1798

Sacramento, CA 95812

(916) 444-7163 Fax: (916) 444-7165

(800) 524-4765 Nationwide

Website: http://www.cpedv.org

Email: info@cpedv.org

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P. O. Box 18902

Denver, CO 80218

(303) 831-9632 Fax: (303) 832-7067

(888) 788-7091

Website: http://www.ccadv.org

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

90 Pitkin Street

East Hartford, CT 06108

(860) 282-7899 Fax: (860) 282-7892

(800) 281-1481 In State

(888) 774-2900 In State DV Hotline

Website: http://www.ctcadv.org

Email: info@ctcadv.org

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence

100 W. 10 th Street, #703

Wilmington, DE 19801

(302) 658-2958 Fax: (302) 658-5049

(800) 701-0456 Statewide

Website: http://www.dcadv.org

Email: dcadv@dcadv.org

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1718 P Street, Suite T-6

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 299-1181 Fax: (202) 299-1193

Website: http://www.dccadv.org

Email: help@dccadv.org

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

425 Office Plaza

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 425-2749 Fax: (850) 425-3091

(850) 621-4202 TDD

(800) 500-1119 In State

Website: http://www.fcadv.org

Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 7532, Athens, GA 30604

Atlanta, GA 30354

(404) 209-0280 Fax: (404) 766-3800

Website: http://www.gcadv.org

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

716 Umi Street, Suite 210

Honolulu, HI 96819-2337

(808) 832-9316 Fax: (808) 841-6028

Website: http://www.hscadv.org

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

815 Park Boulevard, #140

Boise, ID 83712

(208) 384-0419 Fax: (208) 331-0687

(888) 293-6118 Nationwide

Website: http://www.idvsa.org

Email: domvio@mindspring.com

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

801 S. 11 th Street

Springfield, IL 62703

(217) 789-2830 Fax: (217) 789-1939

Website: http://www.ilcadv.org

Email: ilcadv@ilcadv.org

Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1915 W. 18 th Street

Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 917-3685 Fax: (317) 917-3695

(800) 332-7385 In State

Website: http://www.violenceresource.org

Email: icadv@violenceresource.org

Iowa Coalition against Domestic Violence

515 28th Street, #104

Des Moines, IA 50312

(515) 244-8028 Fax: (515) 244-7417

(800) 942-0333 In State Hotline

Website: http://www.icadv.org

Kansas Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence

634 SW Harrison Street

Topeka, KS 66603

(785) 232-9784 Fax: (785) 266-1874

Website: http://www.kcsdv.org

Email: coalition@kcsdv.org

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association

P.O. Box 356

Frankfort, KY 40602

(502) 209-5381 Fax: (502) 695-2488

Website: http://www.kdva.org

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 77308

Baton Rouge, LA 70879

(225) 752-1296 Fax: (225) 751-8927

Website: http://www.lcadv.org

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

170 Park Street

Bangor, ME 04401

(207) 941-1194 Fax: (207) 941-2327

Website: http://www.mcedv.org

Email: info@mcedv.org

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

6911 Laurel-Bowie Road, #309

Bowie, MD 20715

(301) 352-4574 Fax: (301) 809-0422

(800) 634-3577 Nationwide

Website: http://www.mnadv.org

Email: mnadv@aol.com

Jane Doe, Inc./Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

14 Beacon Street, #507

Boston, MA 02108

(617) 248-0922 Fax: (617) 248-0902

TTY/TTD: (617) 263-2200

Website: http://www.janedoe.org

Email: info@janedoe.org

Michigan Coalition against Domestic & Sexual Violence

3893 Okemos Road, #B-2

Okemos, MI 48864

(517) 347-7000 Fax: (517) 347-1377

TTY: (517) 381-8470

Website: http://www.mcadsv.org

Email: general@mcadsv.org

Minnesota Coalition For Battered Women

1821 University Avenue West, #S-112

St. Paul, MN 55104

(651) 646-6177 Fax: (651) 646-1527

Crisis Line: (651) 646-0994

(800) 289-6177 Nationwide

Website: http://www.mcbw.org

Email: mcbw@mcbw.org

Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 4703

Jackson, MS 39296

(601) 981-9196 Fax: (601) 981-2501

Website: http://www.mcadv.org

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence

718 East Capitol Avenue

Jefferson City, MO 65101

(573) 634-4161 Fax: (573) 636-3728

Website: http://www.mocadv.org

Email: mcadv@sockets.net

Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

P.O. Box 818

Helena, MT 59624

(406) 443-7794 Fax: (406) 443-7818

(888) 404-7794 Nationwide

Website: http://www.mcadsv.com

Email: mcadsv@mt.net

Nebraska Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition

825 M Street, #404

Lincoln, NE 68508

(402) 476-6256 Fax: (402) 476-6806

(800) 876-6238 In State

Website: http://www.ndvsac.org

Email: info@ndvsac.org

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence

220 S. Rock Blvd. Suite 7,

Reno, NV 89502-2355

(775) 828-1115 Fax: (775) 828-9911

(800) 500-1556 In State

Website: http://www.nnadv.org

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

P.O. Box 353

Concord, NH 03302

(603) 224-8893 Fax: (603) 228-6096

(866) 644-3574 In State

Website: http://www.nhcadsv.org

New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women

1670 Whitehorse Hamilton Square

Trenton, NJ 08690

(609) 584-8107 Fax: (609) 584-9750

(800) 572-7233 In State

Website: http://www.njcbw.org

Email: info@njcbw.org

New Mexico State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

200 Oak NE, #4

Albuquerque, NM 87106

(505) 246-9240 Fax: (505) 246-9434

(800) 773-3645 In State

Website: http://www.nmcadv.org

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

350 New Scotland Avenue

Albany, NY 12054

(518) 482-5464 Fax: (518) 482-3807

(800) 942-6906 English-In State

(800) 942-6908 Spanish-In State

Website: http://www.nyscadv.org

Email: nyscadv@nyscadv.org

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

115 Market Street, #400

Durham, NC 27701

(919) 956-9124 Fax: (919) 682-1449

(888) 232-9124 Nation wide

Website: http://www.nccadv.org

North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services

418 E. Rosser Avenue, #320

Bismark, ND 58501

(701) 255-6240 Fax: (701) 255-1904

(888) 255-6240 Nationwide

Website: http://www.ndcaws.org

Email: ndcaws@ndcaws.org

Action Ohio Coalition For Battered Women

P.O. Box 15673

Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 221-1255 Fax: (614) 221-6357

(888) 622-9315 In State

Website: http://www.actionohio.org

Email: actionoh@ee.net

Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

3815 N. Sante Fe Ave., Suite 124

Oklahoma City, OK 73118

(405) 524-0700 Fax: (405) 524-0711

Website: http://www.ocadvsa.org

Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

380 SE Spokane Street, #100

Portland, OR 97202

(503) 230-1951 Fax: (503) 230-1973

Website: http://www.ocadsv.com

Coalition Against Domestic Violence

6400 Flank Drive, #1300

Harrisburg, PA 17112

(717) 545-6400 Fax: (717) 545-9456

(800) 932-4632 Nationwide

Website: http://www.pcadv.org

The Office of Women Advocates

Box 11382

Fernandez Juancus Station

Santurce, PR 00910

(787) 721-7676 Fax: (787) 725-9248

Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

422 Post Road, #202

Warwick, RI 02888

(401) 467-9940 Fax: (401) 467-9943

(800) 494-8100 In State

Website: http://www.ricadv.org

Email: ricadv@ricadv.org

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 7776

Columbia, SC 29202

(803) 256-2900 Fax: (803) 256-1030

(800) 260-9293 Nationwide

Website: http://www.sccadvasa.org

South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 141

Pierre, SD 57501

(605) 945-0869 Fax: (605) 945-0870

(800) 572-9196 Nationwide

Website: http://www.southdakotacoalition.org

Email: sdcadvsa@rapidnet.com

Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

P.O. Box 120972

Nashville, TN 37212

(615) 386-9406 Fax: (615) 383-2967

(800) 289-9018 In State

Website: http://www.tcadsv.org

Email: tcadsv@tcadsv.org

Texas Council On Family Violence

P.O. Box 161810

Austin, TX 78716

(512) 794-1133 Fax: (512) 794-1199

(800) 525-1978 In State

Website: http://www.tcfv.org

Women’s Coalition of St. Croix

Box 2734


St. Croix, VI 00822

(340) 773-9272 Fax: (340) 773-9062

Website: http://www.wcstx.com

Email: wcscstx@attglobal.net

Utah Domestic Violence Council

205 North 400 West,

Salt Lake City, 84103

(801) 521-5544 Fax: (801) 521-5548

Website: http://www.udvac.org

Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 405

Montpelier, VT 05601

(802) 223-1302 Fax: (802) 223-6943

Website: http://www.vtnetwork.org

Email: vtnetwork@vtnetwork.org

Virginians Against Domestic Violence

2850 Sandy Bay Road, #101

Williamsburg, VA 23185

(757) 221-0990 Fax: (757) 229-1553

(800) 838-8238 Nationwide

Website: http://www.vadv.org

Email: vadv@tni.net

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

101 N. Capitol Way, #302

Olympia, WA 98501

(360) 586-1022 Fax: (360) 586-1024


Email: wscadv@wscadv.org

West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

4710 Chimney Drive, #A

Charleston, WV 25302

(304) 965-3552 Fax: (304) 965-3572

Website: http://www.wvcadv.org

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence

307 S. Paterson Street, #1

Madison, WI 53703

(608) 255-0539 Fax: (608) 255-3560

Website: http://www.wcadv.org

Email: wcadv@wcadv.org

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 236

409 South Fourth Street

Laramie, WY 82073

(307) 755-5481 Fax: (307) 755-5482

(800) 990-3877 Nationwide

Website: http://www.wyomingdvsa.org

Email: Info@mail.wyomingdvsa.org

US Virgin Islands / Puerto


About sweetcardomom

I am a mother, grandmother and advocate for those suffering from the torment of emotional abuse regardless of gender, or who the abuser is. Emotional abuse can come from anyone around you whether personal or professional. Parents, spouses, lovers, teachers, siblings, co-workers, bosses, and even your therapist. I am a survivor and have grown a lot during the past few months. The struggle continues and so do I. Hoping to make a difference "One Person At A Time" ~ sweetcardomom
This entry was posted in Bullies, Controlling People, Dangerous People, Dangerous Relationships, Emotional Abuse, Husband Abuse, Manipulative People, Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Uncategorized, Work Bullies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. knowmoresaymore says:

    It’s also important to be aware that there is an emerging link between women’s reproductive health and relationship abuse.

    Women disclosing physical violence are nearly three times more likely to experience a sexually transmitted infection than women who don’t disclose physical abuse.

    Learn more, share stories, take action at http://www.knowmoresaymore.org

  2. Thank you for posting. I looked at your site wow it is a really informative site. I have added it to my resource links, and I will add a new post. There are many new things to think about and I see I will need a new chapter. You have me thinking in a new direction so I thank you for that.
    Bless you~ sweetcardomom

  3. Justice Interrupted ~ Susan Murphy-Milano DV Escape Strategist

  4. Thank you “Maggie’s Rose” for posting such an important site! I appreciate your contribution to this resource site. ~ Bless you for the great work you are doing! ~ sweetcardomom 🙂

  5. Thank you once again for the second link ” Magie’s Rose” 🙂 ~ sweetcardomom

  6. For me meditation always worked. I help abused person by teaching them meditation.

  7. Meditation is very good therapy. Anyone interested in learning more about meditation, please see the Emotional Healing section for more information. Thank you for posting. ~ sweetcardomom

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