You don’t need to spend one more day in an abusive relationship.
Abuse in an intimate relationship can range from cruel words to shattering blows. It victimizes women of every race, at every income level, in all types of relationships. It devastates families, and it’s deadly. Over 1,600 women were victims of fatal intimate partner violence in 2007.
If your relationship is abusive, you don’t need to wait for it to get better, or get worse. You have resources and support through the YWCA that can help you and your children move from being victims to being survivors.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, please call one of our 24 hour hotlines to speak to a trained responder:
If it is an emergency, call the police immediately at 9-1-1.
No one deserves to be abused. It is your right to live safely and protect yourself and your children!
MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.
The YWCA of Western Massachusetts hotlines answered over 12,000 calls in 2009. Over 1,200 people received our domestic violence services, including counseling, safety planning, supervised visitation, and support groups.
Domestic violence only happens to poor women of color.
Domestic violence does not discriminate. It happens to all kinds of women, in all kinds of relationships. Persons of any class, religion, race, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims of domestic violence.
Some people deserve to be hit.
No one deserves to be abused. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser. Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and illegal.
DO’S AND DONT’S OF SURVIVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
If you’re in an abusive relationship:
- Talk to your partner, if it’s safe. Explain how you want to be treated.
- Leave. Temporarily or permanently. Leaving temporarily tells your abuser that you won’t let yourself or your children be mistreated.
- Get help. Talk about your situation with someone supportive and trustworthy. Ask your neighbors or nearby friends to call the police if they hear violence. You may not be able to call in an attack.
- Keep a secure cell phone available to call 9-1-1
- Keep and emergency bag with clothes, cash, spare keys, phone numbers, and copies of documents.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, don’t:
- Try to change your partner’s behavior or expect it to change. He’s in control of his actions, just as you are in control of yours.
- Stay in an abusive relationship and hope or expect it to be safe one day. Without intervention, family violence becomes more severe and more frequent.
- Avoid telling someone you can trust because you’re ashamed or embarrassed. Silence keeps women trapped in abusive relationships.
- Leave your emergency phone someplace, like your purse, where your abuser would have easy access to it.
- Return to the house unescorted to retrieve your things, even necessities.