Counseling for Domestic Violence Survivors

Counseling for Domestic Violence Survivors

Domestic violence is an extremely traumatizing experience and the emotional scars associated with this abuse can often outlast the physical impact.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Domestic violence survivors are at a high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or  stress-related mental health conditions. Survivors can have upsetting memories or flashbacks, fear or a sense of danger that they cannot overcome. They may feel numb or disconnected from the rest of the world (National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health). Learning to cope with residual emotional pain and fears is essential to healing.

Breaking the isolation of domestic violence by seeking counseling and support from friends and family can help survivors to move forward. Counseling sessions provide a safe and confidential environment for survivors to express their feelings, thoughts and fears. Counselors are nonjudgmental third-party advisors who listen and can help survivors work through the things that they are experiencing.

Speaking with a trauma specialist can help survivors to deal with their remaining anxiety and find ways to relieve that stress. These specialists can help to process traumatic memories or experiences so that it is possible to move on. They can also aid survivors in learning to regulate their strong emotions like fear and anger.

Group counseling can also be beneficial. Attending a group session can allow survivors to connect with others who have been through similar situations. Connecting with these people can reduce the feeling of isolation often created by abusers. Other survivors can also offer advice on how they got through tough situations.

Overcoming a traumatic experience can be scary. It’s important that if you do decide to seek counseling, that you find a well-trained professional or group that you are comfortable with.  Often domestic violence programs offer individual counseling to survivors in their communities.  If that’s not a possibility, ask potential counselors about their experiences and strategies for supporting victims of domestic violence.

Please note: if you are still in an abusive relationship, please keep in mind that we don’t recommend attending couple’s counseling with your abuser. Here’s why.

(Photo by Joe Houghton)

Comment section

38 replies
  1. I needed to read this article. I have been out of the relationship for years and sometimes I cannot understand how I still have pain and suffering from the relationship.

  2. I think it’s important to recognize that counseling has to happen at the right time, which is different for every person. For me, I tried counseling right after I left the marriage, and on and off for several years. I didn’t feel that it helped me. It wasn’t until I reached a specific point in my life, a stage of transition, that I was able to really benefit from DV counseling — and plus, I finally found a remarkable therapist. Going through the therapy was absolutely the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. There were times when I didn’t think I would survive it. But I did, and my life is now better for it. I’m 51 and feel like I’m finally living, not just existing. I wish I were younger, but there’s nothing I can do about that except continue to grieve the lost years and try my best to keep moving forward now.

  3. I thought I was handling my life after getting out of a dv situation. After a couple of years I realized that I was reacting emotionally to life situations because of my physical abuse. I couldn’t handle another personal relationship, I was scared to be by myself at night or sleep without every light on or without a phone ready for a 911 call, and I had to have a watchdog. I also realized I finally needed counseling. It was the best move I made. I had PTSD when it wasn’t even familliar to counselors and doctors. I have continued my sessions for over 20 years! I still have issues but now it relates to situations with my daughter and her boyfriend. It’s hard to believe I have been impacted for this long but it’s true. You never know when PTSD will occur.

  4. Lucy,

    Thank you for sharing your counseling experience with our blog community. You are right that one must be in the right frame of mind for counseling to be beneficial. Also, it is very important to connect with the therapist that is helping you. It’s okay to switch therapists until you find one that works. I am happy to hear that you are free from abuse and that you are healing and moving forward.


  5. Dreamer 1951,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with counseling with the Share Your Voice blog community. It helps others to hear how scary, yet helpful, therapy can be for those who are still in an abusive realtionship and those who are survivors. An abusive environment can leave lasting scars and can take time to process and heal from. I am very glad to hear that you have been free from abuse for 20 years!

    Please share our number with your daughter if she’s being hurt by her boyfriend, 1-800-799-7233 or if she is a under 21 she can chat with an advocate online at http://www.loveisrespect.org, our sister organization.


  6. i need somebody may be a group i want to get out for a very bad abuse relantion i really need help

  7. I think I need to join a group or find counseling somehow. One day when I was at my boyfriend’s house, his dad came home drunk. There was a huge fight and I was so scared that I froze. I’mm so dissappointed in myself that I couldn’t even move. My boyfriend got beat really bad. That feeling I got when I saw the love of my life come out of the bedroom with a broken nose, so much blood dripping down his face, strangle marks on his neck. I couldn’t handle living through that again. I think it was more truamatizing to me because I’ve never been around or exposed to anything like that.
    After it happened, I haven’t slept for weeks. I had to sit and watch his father rip his family apart. What hurt the most was seeing my boyfriend in that much emotional pain. I can’t bare it. We have been friends for about 10 years, been dating for one, and I have never seen him cry like that.

  8. Hi Lisandra,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice Blog. Advocates here at the hotline (800-799-7233) are standing by 24 hours a day 7 days a week to offer domestic violence victims local supportive resources. If you can get to a place safe enough to talk on the phone, we’d be happy to look and see what counseling resources are in your area. Please know that you are not alone and there are people that want to help.


  9. Mya,
    I am so sorry to hear about the horrible violence you have witnessed. It is normal for you to be feeling secondary trauma after seeing what has been happening to your boyfriend. I do agree that you would benefit from talking to a professional about what you are going through to help you process your emotions. Most of the resources in our database are more geared toward specifically helping the person who is being victimized, but we would be happy to look and see if there are any resources in your area that assist the family and friends of victims. You are welcome to call the hotline and speak to an advocate (800-799-7233) day or night- we’re always here and we would be happy to explore resources with you. I am glad to hear you are taking the steps necessary for taking care of your own emotional health and thank you for sharing your experience with our blog community.

    Good Luck,

  10. I literally just left England to return here to the US a week ago. My ex-fiance was emotionally and physically abusive and I tolerated it for 6 months. Even now that I am pregnant, his abuse continued. I have broken off all contact with him, but still find it difficult to not try and reach him. I need counseling. I’m not who I used to be. I have support from my ex-husband and one friend, but even they don’t understand why it’s so hard to just “switch off” from him. I’m glad I found your website; I’m hoping to use it as a very valuable resource to help me get myself back and move on with my life.

  11. I’ve had suspisions that my son’s girlfriend (she’s 23) and her brother, who is also my son’s best friend, had had a tough life. Recently, I found out that it was true. Their father was in prison for five years for assaulting the daughter and my son confessed that the brother told him that he had grown up seeing his father beat his mother.
    About a month ago the father beat my son’s girlfriend up. He was angry about their food being eaten and held a “family meeting” that included my son. My son got up and left the house. The father took the daughter to a back room and beat her with a belt. My son did not actually witness the assault but he was outside waiting for her and did hear it. When the daughter got loose she ran outside and my son told her to jump in the car. He also told the father not come down off the porch and he didn’t.
    To me, it seems as if the father did that partly for my son’s benefit. He wanted him to know that the daughter would pay for any “problems” that came up. My son feels guilty about it. He thinks the father beat her up because he ate their food. He wants to protect her and her brother. I know the food was the excuse not the reason.
    I’m worried. I’m worried this man is drawing my son into a situation he is not able to deal with. My son has never been exposed to such a thing. I’m afraid he may to do what his 19yr old bravado tells him to do. He won’t abandon his girlfriend or his best friend, and I don’t want him to do that either. But he won’t let that happen again without doing something. What should I do?

  12. Paula,
    Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. I am glad to hear that you are safely out of that situation and moving forward. It’s normal when you’ve been through abuse like this to feel confused and upset. Oftentimes, an abusive partner will start the relationship seeming like a totally different person. Once they gain some form of committment, the abuse tends to escalate. You are always welcome to call and speak with an advocate on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7, and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate could look up local services that help victims of abuse, including counseling and support groups.


  13. Im having a tough life im a battered wife im in a conditional green card holder what should i do i want to divorce my husband and im so abused i have no friends or family here in america.

  14. Bianca,

    It is terrible that you are living a life with abuse from your husband. I know it can be very isolating to not have any family or friends for support. An advocate at The Hotline would be able to talk to you about your options and help you find a referral for a lawyer. You can call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for help. Thank you for reaching out to our blog community.


  15. I am in the Uk and have recently started councelling. I Left a bad relationship 5 years ago and only through councelling do i now realize it was an abusive relationship and not just turbulant! I have a lot to do but i am happy to say I am now on the road to finding myself!

  16. I was in a violent relationship for two years I ending it with him 3months ago and he didn’t take it nicley he beat me up really badly , he follows me everywhere im too scared 2 tell the police someone please helpp mee this is my last option

  17. This is so interesting, everyone here brings me so much strength. Even though it’s been so long, the memories still hurt. But it’s so important to look to the future. There’s so much to live for!

  18. I think I am being abused. My husband is controlling and objects when I want to go see my family with my son. He is only 4 years old. He comes up with reasons why he can’t go, and also will say he doesn’t want to go. Then he will make up stories to manipulate the situation.

    He also starts fights by becoming paranoid. He thinks everyone is out to get him. He think I am going to steal our son from him. He is addicted to prescription drugs, and tries to manipulate me in getting them also for him. I also take some medications, but never the full dose. He takes my medication, so I often go without, which causes me some health issues sometimes. He pops pills a lot, for anything. He said he is trying to fix it, but every time he goes to the doctor they just prescribe him more pills.

    He is also very depressed. He is constantly asleep when we are awake and awake while we are asleep. He tells me that I am a liar and things like that. He makes me decide on everything, and then when he objects he runs me through the ringer. It’s really stressful.

    Also, he never helps out with the house. I work all the time, while he stays home with out son. Basically he does nothing but sleep, eat and watches tv. He also likes to shop for his interests. I am on a tight budget, but that will get turned upside down when he wants something that is not needed. I have been in tight spots because of him. I clean, cook, grocery, laundry, everything. I am exhausted and angry a lot and lash out at him because of this.

    I want to leave him, but I am afraid. I hate where we are living. My credit is now shot because of him. I think he might try to hurt me if I leave or he would squat in our rental until the police kicked him out. He is this type of person. He has threatened to kill himself a few times. Once actually taking several drugs at once. But told me if I called the emergency that he would go kill himself some other way.

    I am miserable and constantly while sleeping have dreams that I am able to leave him, and I am happy. I just worry that he will be homeless or something if I do. Or he might try to hurt me or my son. he said he never would, but in the past he hit me in the face once and pretended to strangle me. He also once pulled out a gun when we entered a room of the home. I was carrying my son, he said he thought it was a guy that was chasing him (paranoid).

  19. Becca,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. I am really concerned about your safety. It sounds like your ex is stalking and harassing you. Is there any way you could possibly change up your routine to keep him from being able to find you in the same places? I know it’s a scary to think about taking action against him, but it sounds like this behavior will continue to escalate. There may be the option of getting a protective order or restraining order, or if you’re not comfortable with legal options, maybe relocating to a domestic violence shelter for safety. You are welcome to call and speak with an advocate on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential, and a safe place to talk about it. An advocate could safety plan with you about what’s going on, and see if there are other resources to help.


  20. Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. There are some things that you’ve shared that sound like definite red flags of abuse. For one thing, it sounds like he’s been very controlling in this relationship. It’s not normal for your partner to not allow you to see family or friends, or to cause problems when you try to. He also sounds like he’s very manipulative. Using his addiction to prescription drugs as an excuse to be abusive is not okay. While there may be issues stemming from his drug use, and while that drug use may exacerbate the abusive behavior, it is not the cause of it. There’s no excuse for him to treat you like this. A common manipulative tactic that an abuser will use against their partner is to threaten to harm themselves if you leave them. It’s so important that if you are thinking of leaving, you make a plan to do it in the safest way possible. There may be options you could use to protect yourself and your child. If you’d like to talk to an advocate about what’s been going on, you are welcome to call and speak to someone here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. Any time you get a safe chance, give us a call.


  21. I am 19 years old, and I feel like I should be able to move on with my life. I’ve been out of the relationship for over a year now, but I still wake up every night screaming from past memories. Most days I am fine, but then there’s days when all the feelings I’ve been running from finally catches up. I met a wonderful man, but I can’t give him my all because I find myself still afraid. I even catch myself sometimes cringing when he comes towards me. I am not sure how to get past these feelings of fear and get rid of my flashbacks. I still feel like I am attached to my abuser.

  22. Reese,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Share Your Voice blog community. It is very normal for abuse victims to experience trauma symptoms, even long after the time of the incidents. It is for that reason that we encourage all of our callers to seek domestic violence counseling as soon as possible after an abusive relationship. Through the counseling process, a therapist can work with you to process what you’ve been through so that you may emotionally heal and move on. Not being able to fully process the trauma experience can make it very difficult for a person to move on past those residual feelings of fear, confusion, and low self-esteem. Advocates here at the hotline (800-799-7233) are standing by 24/7 to assist you in finding free domestic violence counseling services in your area. You are not alone in this and there are people in your community ready to help you get your life back.

    Take care,

  23. I don’t understand why I feel guilty and why I still miss him. He uses me all the time for whatever he needs and is so nasty when he’s not in need. How do I get through this with no insurance and no place to live. I’m so stressed.

  24. I left my abusive ex husband almost a year ago. I now have a wonderful boyfriend. I have tried counseling but I don’t think I did it at the right time for me. After I left I had a real hard time emotionally and broke down a lot. I went to my local dv help center and they didn’t do much to help me. I have 2 kids, one from my abusive relationship who I am fighting for custody now. I have been pretty numb to the abuse that happened (which involved everything but physical abuse, he didn’t want anyone knowing) and am just now starting to have nightmares and bad flashbacks of it. To make it worse, my ex has been sleeping with my sister since she was 14 and she is now 21 and still there with him, scared to death and that is stressing me out bad. I’m afraid of going to the police because he said if I ever told anyone he would make me out to be a liar and psychopath and it would be world war 3. He is very good at lying and decieving people so I’m very scared. I start counseling today I am now seeking counseling hopefully on a weekly basis. I hope it helps me…

  25. Kim,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It’s really normal when you’ve come out of an abusive relationship to still miss that person or care about them. I’m hearing that you’re looking for some help to move forward. Oftentimes, local DV programs will offer free counseling or support groups for victims and survivors of abuse. If you’d like information about local domestic violence programs that have support services, you are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential.


  26. Kristian,
    Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you are still dealing with trauma from the abuse you’ve been through. Still having to deal with your ex also sounds like it’s been really difficult for you. It’s normal when you’ve been through abuse, to have feelings still come up for you, even after you are out of the relationship. I am glad to hear that you are starting counseling and getting support. If you’d like to talk to someone, you are always welcome to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential, and 24/7.


  27. Am I a survivor if I am still living through it? I have been with my bf for 6 years and for probaly 5 years of the relationship he has abused me. In the beginning it was always in two to three month increments, then it was longer, now its been 9 months since the last incident. He has really tried to change, and I think he does know what hes done is wrong but when he apologizes it always comes back to me. If I hadn’t done this, or said this, he wouldnt have gotten so angry. My mom found out 2 years into our relationship and told him she knew which caused problems for months, i couldnt talk to her or see her for months because he would put guilt trips on me, that i was chosing her over him. That I didnt defend him. I honestly didn’t defend him because it felt good to finally have somone defend me. The abuse started with pinching, grabbing, shoving, then slapping, punching, choking. He has spit in my face, kicked me, elbowed me on my mouth, grabbed my face and left scratches all over it, choked me, head butted me. There have only been a couple of occasions where he has actually left bruises on my face. He’s left bruises all over my arms and legs, and even told me before that he wasn’t stupid, he wouldn’t ever hit me in my face and bruise me so people would see. He calls me names all the time, embarreses me in front of his friends, family, in public. I recently had a miscarriage and he said it was my fault because I didn’t listen to him, that if I would have stopped taking my birth control when he told me to that wouldnt have happened. I have anxiety constantly and become extremely nervous when he gets upset about anything. I have tried to leave him before but I cant seem to do it. I am so scared to let him go. I don’t know if it is normal to still carry this around or if i should let it go, or if i can? I am not a stupid girl and I have never been weak or let anyone treat me badly without standing up for myself but for some reason in this situation i just cant. And when he is actually nice and treating me well it makes it hard for me to figure out what the right decision is. I just can’t let anything that hes done to me go and I dont know if I should. Maybe I really shouldn’t. I don’t know. I never talk to anyone about these things. Its seriously just a burden that I carry around with me constantly. it is exhausting me.

  28. I am in a complicated time right now. You see it’s not me who got the stick end of a abusive relationship but my mother and I fell like I have to express this somehow. My dad is pretty much bipolar (Or at least he pretty close to it) because of his bad bad childhood and my family is kind of poor, so he has mood swings a lot. She had been with my dad for over twenty two years and I can’t image what he used to do to her before he stopped being physical because as I heard, it was worse before I was born. It was because of of his way he treated my mother that she cheated on him a little after I was born (I am not saying she was right for doing this) because my dad had once punched my mom because he was mad at his boss and took his anger out on her it was a little after this that she met a co work who was so nice to her, he didn’t beat her or yell at her and made her feel pretty. So she cheated until my dad found out and of course he wasn’t happy. It was this that he always brought up when he was mad as I remembered him calling her a wh*re when he was mad at her and that’s how I learned the word. So this is how my childhood started. When I was growing up with my other siblings he would always yell at our mom but as we got older he started to yell at us too, he would get so crazy blaming our mom for not having enough money or how dumb we were because of her or the fact of how she cheated on him. It would get to a point that he would threaten us and point guns at us, he once killed two of our dogs years before with a gun because of a simple mistake my older sister had made when she was about twelve, and half a year ago he would shock our dog with a shocker when he got mad. He would always go so crazy and then say he was sorry and then he would do it again, and again and again. He would tell our mom she was the problem and tell her to leave, but of course such she was the source of money he had her come back (our mother was the only one with the job while he just stayed at home). the first time I was slapped by my father is when I was nine, I think it was because I said something dumb but after that whenever he got angry he would slap me.Sometimes he would slap my siblings and I around but my mom, he would hurt her a lot more. He would yell at her for hours while we just did nothing but he him insult us and threaten our mom and then when I was about eleven years old we left. However after just one night we came back because his promise to change, that’s when it was fine for a bit until it got worse. He would manly complain how broke he was and wanted us kids to get him all the money he put into us, it got to the point that he told our mom to kill herself and make it look like an accident because he wanted her life insurance.That was the second time we left and after four days and him checking into rehab for his drug taking we came back for the second time. It was better this time around, he was nice for a few weeks before it crept back in again, of course this time he never slapped us again but the metal abuse got worse. He would be so nice at one moment saying how proud he was of us and how much he loved us but a few days later he would say we were pieces of crap and shout at us, it was because of this that we never hung around him and he hated that. He said we should hang around him more and love him just as much as our mother. I’m sorry but in times like this our mother was the only stable parent who never yelled at us or shot down our dreams. Instead we had to do what he wanted, he wanted us to be swimmers and be great at it but I never wanted to and if we got a bad time at a swim meet he would take my mom into their room and yell at her, I couldn’t get everything but I could hear a good amount of it. Also while he snapped or yelled at us he never wanted us to say anything back on the threat of kicking the crap out of us, you know how people say the term “arguing”? well there was none of that, it was just him shouting and insulting us and my mom. One time during a trip with our some friends he made me feel so ashamed when he caused a scene in a public place because we had forgotten to pack something. It was because of that our friends knew what was going on and that sucked as I had someone say to my little brother “If you every need anything just ask” and they were some pity looks. Then about three or four years ago my oldest sister left the house in the middle of the night without our dad knowing because she could not handle him anymore, this was because after mom she was the one who was blamed. Now here is the hard part, we left for a third and last time and we have not went back yet for almost a year. However I cannot say the same for our mom. We had left our house and went to a safer place while my dad is still at the house and my mother visits him every week. She brings him food and stays with him for hours (my dad does not have a job or a car, my mom has the car. Like I said we are poor and only have one car) and it makes me fell worried. He will be calling her consonantly and she had to listen to whatever he says and there has been a couple times in the last few months when she went to visit and he acted scary and she won’t tell me what he said. My brother, sister, and myself keep telling her to do something as he is always bothering our mom making her stressed but our mom will just tell her that she just can’t leave him at the house because he has no car. But I am scared as I have a feeling that if he got a car she would still see him, what makes it worse he might come to see us. I have not seen my dad in ten months and I don’t miss him one bit but i am scared that he might hurt my mom will she is visiting him or once he gets a car he will track us down, and he said he wouldn’t do that but he might not keep his words as there has been times that he didn’t keep his word. that I don’t know what to do because we do not have enough money to give him a car and move out of the state and I begged my mom to do something before she gets hurts but she doesn’t. We shouldn’t be like this, I know I am causing enough stress on my mom because she has to put up with me ( I am a troublesome teen as I love to talk a lot. I will nag someone’s ear off if I have an idea) and she has to put up with the bills in the place we are at. I can’t find a good job and it would be impossible even if I did as I am in college and I need all the study time I can get because I am slow at learning, also I have no social skills whatsoever so I am just extra baggage to my mom. In the mean time I have my dad over here bugging her all the time and I try to make it better for her, I study and I don’t cause any trouble at school, but she is so stressed. Sometimes she will cry when she thinks I now looking and when I try to ask what is work, she won’t tell me. It makes me feel so useless and somethings I am sorry she ever met my dad, somethings I wished she married someone else so maybe she would be happy. My mother is a great, beautiful woman. She never once yelled back at our father no matter how much he insulted her and put up with him and us all these years. I just wished there was something I could do to make her stop seeing him anymore, he is supposed to be out of our lives and she should be moving on but she hasn’t. I am sorry for rambling on so long but I had to get this off my chest as it has been killing me to watch this happen to my mom, she keeps coming back to him even after all the abuse and the fact that we moved away.

  29. I know I am not in a place to be giving advice but here’s the thing. You deserve so much better, you deserve to be treated with respect and love. You have to remember no matter how nice he may act or how he promises to change the abuse will keep happening, it is just a big cycle. I understand if you’re scared to leave but even if you love him with all your heart and can’t let go, you have to leave him and move on with your life. If you have had the strength to stay with him this long I know you have the strength to leave him. You can let go because this is unhealthy if you are with someone who puts you down and you deserve so much better and don’t let anyone tell you different. I’m sorry but you can’t help your boyfriend change and it wasn’t you who made him this way so why must you put up with this abuse that he is directing at his past pain? I know that sound selfish but how are you ever going to be happy? Are you just going to let him beat you up until you have no more willpower just because it makes him feel better? No, you fight. You are a strong woman, anyone who puts up with psychical and mental abuse that long is strong. I know it will be painful leaving the person you have known for so long but it is not worth staying with him if it means getting hurt. I have seen the endless cycle of someone who says they’re sorry and even cry only to do it all over again, and again. You have the power to leave so I encourage you to do that and keep your head high. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you luck, remember you and you alone have the power. You just have to use it.

  30. T,

    It takes a lot of courage to reach out and tell someone what is happening in your relationship. You have been through so much harmful abuse. Choking is a very aggressive action, as is head butting, being kicked and elbowed in the face. No one ever deserves to be treated that way.

    You mentioned he has tried to change but he still places the blame on you. Abusive partners rarely take responsibility for their actions and it is common for them to place the blame on the other person. The fact that he is still doing that makes me think he really hasn’t changed and is still displaying signs of an abusive individual.

    It is normal to be confused by the behavior of an abusive boyfriend, especially when they are being nice between the hurtful moments. When you think of what a healthy relationship looks like, does it involve feeling anxious and nervous? Healthy relationships are based on trust, respect, kindness, and individual freedom…it does not include hitting, choking, or verbally assaulting your partner. It would be helpful to call our hotline and discuss futher the dynamics of your situation. Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. I am glad you reached out to our blog community, you are going through a great deal and I hope you will call us for further guidance and support.


  31. Hi. I am a 21 year old female and the other night my drunk boyfriend attacked me. We had met up and when I realized he was drunk I asked him to please get out of my car. He exited, slamming the door so hard and then turned around and punched my car window- then wiping the blood all over my car. For some reason I reacting by jumping out of the car, instead of staying in it. He cornered me into a corner where he screamed in my face, and grabbed my arms…someone jumped in-between us, he then pushed them out of the way to get at me.. punching his hand through the window next to me… I am sick to my stomach and cannot seem to process what happened. He had been angry before, kicking me out of places or calling me awful names when drinking. He won’t stop calling and texting me, apologizing and telling me how much he loves me. I don’t know what to do. I know I can not be with him, but I feel so sick to my stomach every time he calls or messages me. Am I a victim of domestic violence? i really don’t know.

  32. Help, our 13 year old daughter was raped on Labor Day, I am so Godly proud of her for coming to us and telling us, we took her to the ER and requested the presence of the Police so that we can press charges, again I am Godly proud of her for enduring the sexual assault kit, photos and the gathering of evidence, I take my hat off to every human being who has ever had to endure such a process. However, if it had not been for our strong Christian Faith and our love and support of each other as a family, I don’t know what we would have done. So, I ask to whom it may concern, please help our family to understand why, NO ONE AND I DO MEAN NO ONE, has contacted us since we left the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Forensic Nurse in the ER. Our daughter is 13, really, seriously, NO ONE could respond to us from then to now REALLY, she’s 13, and there’s no kind of intervention available to her or her family REALLY, yet the system expects ABC and D from the person that’s been assaulted, and the person that’s been assaulted gets WHAT, No Help, No One, Nothing, she’s 13 REALLY, SERIOUSLY!!!

  33. Morgan,
    Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. Neither yourself, your siblings, or your mom ever deserved to be treated like that. It sounds like this has been an ongoing situation of abuse, and that even while you are no longer physically around him, he is still doing things to stay in control. It’s normal for someone whose been in an abusive relationship like your mom has, to struggle with staying away from their ex partner or fully cutting off contact. She may even be staying in contact with him to stay safe. It’s not your fault that this is happening. Your father made the choice in his relationship and family to be abusive. That is something that takes a lot help to change about a person. Your mom may still be waiting for that to happen. It takes a lot of support to heal from abuse. There are local programs that work with victims of domestic violence, that oftentimes offer free counseling services or support groups. Maybe that is something yourself and your mom could get involved in. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on, you are always welcome to call and speak with an advocate here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could look for local resources for help.


  34. Amy,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like a very unhealthy situation. Calling you names or threatening you is definitely verbal and emotional abuse. Drunk or not, he had no right to put his hands on you. It sounds like that was a really scary situation he put you in. This may have been the worst time, but you mentioned that there have been other times where he has called you names and gotten abusive with you even before this had happened. There are a lot of red flags that this person is abusive, and that this is likely to continue. You deserve to feel safe. If you’d like to talk to someone about your relationship, you are always welcome to call and speak with an advocate confidentially on the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are available at 1-800-799-7233 and are 24/7. An advocate could help you talk through your concerns about the situation and see if there’s anything we can do to help. Also, loveisrespect.org has a chat and text helpline where you could talk to an advocate or ask questions if you feel more comfortable with that.


  35. Tabatha,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. You have every right to be upset. It sounds like your daughter has been through a lot and she deserves to get help. I’m not sure that I can speak to what’s going on locally though. Is there a victims’ advocate at the local hospital? A good way to find sexual assault support services would be to contact the RAINN hotline, which is the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, at 1- 800-656-4673. They should route you to your local rape crisis center. That, or you are welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline can look up local programs that have sexual assault support services.


  36. your poor brave daughter, im 23 and i didn’t have the guts to go to the police, or the hospital, or anyone, because i was drunk and i knew what it would look like. if the system isn’t offering counselling then seek it yourselves, for your daughter, because you can’t bury these things they just come back worse

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