I’m being abused by my intimate partner. What should I do?

First, be aware that your activities may be monitored or recorded by the person abusing you.  Your computer, phone conversations and movements (location) can be monitored easily with inexpensive technology, even if the person does not live with you. It is impossible to completely clear your computer history. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. (Users of web browser Microsoft Edge will be redirected to Google when clicking the “X” or “Escape” button.) If you are not sure whether your computer is safe, please use another computer (at a library, for example) to research resources and/or reach out for support

From one survivor to another

I'm so sorry to hear that you are experiencing abuse your intimate partner. It’s great that you are reaching out for information and support. I’m a survivor of severe domestic violence and I know how awful it is. I got help and have lived free and happy for many years now. Although I cannot provide individual support or counseling for you, I want to give you some information that may be very helpful.

First, understand that your situation is not uncommon, although you may think that no could relate or understand what you are going through. This is not true at all. 1 in 3 women are abused. Your abuse may be verbal, emotional, sexuaI, financial, or a combination of these and others. Regardless, I want you to know that it is serious and I believe you. You are not alone and it is not your fault, although your partner has told you that it’s your fault. Many women blame themselves for the abuse because they have sometimes created conflict, argued, “talked back” or even hot him first. Everyone creates some conflict in their relationship from time to time, and this is normal. What is not normal is for someone to abuse you when you do. No one deserves to be abused. The person who does the abuse is the only one responsible for it. 

I want you to know that you are not doomed to live in such misery forever. There is help for you. The most important thing you can do right now is to really focus on your safety. Abuse escalates in frequency and severity over time. (Even though you may not realize this, you will see that it is true if you think back to the very first thing your partner did that seemed abusive and then compare it to the last episode of abuse.) Sometimes danger escalates very quickly, especially if the person being abused starts talking about leaving the relationship, or actually leaves the relationship.

I believe if you use the resources listed throughout these FAQs, you will find that you are empowered with information that can help you decide what to do. I wish you a safe journey as you seek peace and a future free of violence.