How to Stop Domestic Violence FAQs
We can all take steps to stop domestic violence. If you or a loved one are trying to leave an abusive relationship, it's important to remember that it's the abuser who needs to change. However, your abuser may be unable or unwilling change and you should never have endure abuse from anyone. Your number one priority should be safety for you and your loved ones.
This article answers commonly asked questions about how to stop domestic violence with helpful tips and resources.
I'm thinking of leaving an abusive relationship. Where do I start?
First, plan for your safety. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or your local domestic violence outreach organization to learn more about how to create a safety plan or to discuss how to approach a friend about your concerns for his or her relationship. In addition, you or your loved one may want to attend a domestic violence support group.
I'm afraid to call the police, but can I?
Remember you can always call 911 if anyone is hurting you or threatening to hurt you. There are potential consequences for your abuser such as arrest, conviction for domestic violence, and deportation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it was the abuser who took the action that resulted in you or your loved one needing to call the police for protection. If you do call the police and they respond in an inappropriate manner, such as ignoring your call for help, consider consulting with your local domestic violence agency.
I'm not safe at home. Where can I go?
If you need to immediately leave a home you share with your abuser, you can call a local domestic violence agency. They can give you information about how to enter the local domestic violence shelter or confidential motel voucher program. Shelters are frequently full and you may have to leave your area to find a safe, confidential shelter. If your abuser has not been trying to find you or is highly unlikely to try to find you, you may consider leaving to a regular, homeless women's shelter.
I've left my abuser. What can I do to stop him or her from coming after me?
A great legal option that can help to stop domestic violence is a protection order, which is a court order that says your abuser cannot come within a certain number of feet of you, your home, your car, your work, or your school. This doesn’t prevent an abuser from stalking or attacking you, but it does allow you to call the police for assistance if he or she violates the order.
How can I stop domestic violence? What can I do?
The best answer to the question of how to stop domestic violence, and the only way to permanently do so, is to end the cycles of control and abuse in relationships. This involves teaching children to respect their romantic partners by demonstrating respectful, healthy relationships with our spouses and partners.
We can also take more concrete steps in our daily lives to help achieve that goal, including:
- Calling the police if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence.
- Speaking out publicly against domestic violence (for example, if you hear a joke about beating your spouse, let that person know you aren't okay with that kind of humor).
- Referring your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member to a domestic violence outreach organization if you suspect they are being abused.
- Considering reaching out to your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member that you believe is being abusive by talking to them about your concerns.
- Educating others on domestic violence by inviting a speaker from your local domestic violence organization to present at your religious or professional organization, civic or volunteer group, workplace, or school.
- Encouraging your neighborhood watch or block association to watch for domestic violence as well as burglaries and other crimes.
- Donating to domestic violence counseling programs and shelters.
- Being especially vigilant about domestic violence during the stressful holiday season.
Learn How to Stop Domestic Violence with an Attorney's Assistance
Although there are officials within the criminal justice system that can provide some assistance, such as prosecutors and victims' advocates, their support is typically limited to issues relating to the prosecution of your attacker. Hiring your own family law attorney can help make you aware of the rights and resources available elsewhere so that you can help do your part to end domestic violence in your life and the lives of others.