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Published on June 13, 2012

Dealing with Violence

June 13, 2012 

Women of all ages and backgrounds are at risk for many different types of violence. It doesn't matter what race or culture you come from, how much money you have, or if you have a disability. It is most common among women between ages 15 and 54, but it can happen at any age. If you are being abused or have a loved one who is abused, or think there is abuse, get help as soon as you can.

Millions of women in this country have experienced violence. Violence greatly affects the lives and health of women: the effect can last for years — even a lifetime. There are places to turn for help, ways to protect yourself. You can heal and have a better future. It’s important to talk to a service provider about how to protect your safety. The hotlines listed below can connect you to local resources.

Steps You Should Take

  • Don’t keep it to yourself. Get help. Talk with someone: a family member, friend, colleague, or faith counselor.
  • If you’ve been hurt, get medical attention and call the police. Abuse is a crime and you have rights.
  • Set aside some money and choose a place to go. If you decide to leave, you’ll be prepared. Put important papers — marriage license, birth certificates, checkbook, and other papers and items — in a place where you can get them quickly.
  • Contact your family court or domestic violence court. Get information about a civil protection order.
  • If you're in an abusive relationship, be careful when using the Internet.Your computer use can be tracked. It is impossible to fully erase the websites you have visited. If you think someone is tracking your computer use, please use a safer computer. You may be able to use a friend's computer or a computer at your local library.
  • If someone touches, grabs, or makes sexual comments to you at work, speak up. Tell your employer or human resources department. If this is not possible, call the police.

Help and Support

To get immediate help and support, contact one of the agencies below:
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Web address:  www.thehotline.org
Phone: 800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 800-787-3224

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Web address: www.rainn.org
Phone: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
Web address: https://ohl.rainn.org/online

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

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