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One of the most important things you can do before leaving an abusive relationship is to develop a safety plan. You should talk to a victim advocate who can help you fully consider safety issues, understand your legal rights, and identify community resources (e.g., shelters, sources of financial assistance, or food banks). Contact a Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. advocate for help.

Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 day a year.

If you or someone you know is afraid about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or

TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.  Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.  Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.


Domestic violence results in emotional trauma, physical injury, and sometimes death. Domestic violence may include not only the intimate partner and dating relationships, but the abuse of children and other family members, and the abuse generally escalates over a period of time.


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