Resources for Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence

The resources in this article are for informational purposes only; individuals should consult with a licensed health care provider before taking action.

People who are experiencing domestic violence and members of their support system can use this list to find information about seeking professional help, finding housing, legal assistance, and free or low-cost resources.  

COVID-19 Resources for Domestic Violence Survivors and Advocates

Staying Safe During COVID-19, National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH): overview of how COVID-19 could affect people experiencing violence at home and options for immediate help.

Self-Care During COVID-19 Activity Book (PDF, 482 KB), Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: illustrated guide to self-care for individuals that can be completed independently or with a provider.

COVID-19 Resources, The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention: list of videos, webinars and articles for providers about conducting interventions during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Resources for Domestic Violence Organizations (PDF, 220KB), National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: comprehensive list of resources for organizations broken down by category or topic, including child abuse, substance use, housing, undocumented families and more.

Safety Planning - COVID-19: A Guide for Survivors of Domestic Violence (PDF, 106KB), Sanctuary for Families: short guide on safety planning steps for people who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence.

Not just hotlines and mobile phones: Gender-Based Violence Service provision during COVID-19 (PDF, 125KB), United Nations Children’s Fund: ideas for providers about reaching survivors who cannot easily access support, including safety plans and non-tech methods of communication.

Tenant Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors During COVID-19 (PDF, 185KB), National Housing Law Project: overview of housing rights for survivors of domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 and under the Violence Against Women Act.

Tools for Advocates Responding to COVID-19 and Domestic Violence, Battered Women’s Justice Project: webinar recording of helpful toolkits for survivors and advocates that explains how safety planning and protection orders may be used to keep survivors safe during the pandemic.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Immigrant Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (PDF, 171 KB), Tahirih Justice Center: explanation of different ways COVID-19 is affecting immigrant survivors, including loss of employment and immigration enforcement.

Webinar on COVID-19 and Shared Living Spaces, Family & Youth Services Bureau: recorded presentation of ideas for maintaining safety and health for survivors of domestic violence seeking shelter in temporary or long-term shared living spaces.

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Identifying Symptoms and Signs of Domestic Violence

Is This Abuse? NDVH: list of behaviors that qualify as physical or psychological abuse.

Domestic Violence and Abuse, HelpGuide.org: list of warning signs and behaviors that a person might be in an abusive relationship, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Signs of Abuse, NCADV: list of traits that abusers often have in common, and warning signs that a relationship is abusive.

How Abuse Might Affect Your Mental Health (PDF, 212 KB), National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: tip sheet for survivors that explains how experiencing abuse can affect mental and emotional well-being.

Signs of domestic violence or abuse, Office on Women’s Health: answers to frequently asked questions about domestic violence, abuse and seeking professional help.

Symptoms of Domestic Violence, Psych Central: explanation of patterns of abuse and symptoms of domestic violence that people can use to identify abusers.

Recognizing Domestic Partner Abuse, Harvard Health: advice on identifying and escaping domestic violence, including how to offer help to someone who may be experiencing intimate partner violence.

Elder abuse, Office on Women’s Health: answers to frequently asked questions about domestic violence and abuse inflicted upon older adults.

Warning Signs of Children Living with Domestic Violence (PDF, 482KB), NCSDV: signs that children may be experiencing violence or abuse at home, categorized by age group from prenatal to teenage.

Domestic Violence and Children (PDF, 4.1 MB), Department of Justice: answers to questions about the impact of domestic violence and statistics for people working in social justice or advocacy groups.

Male Victims of Domestic Abuse, Rainbow House: list of warning signs that men may be experiencing domestic violence or abuse, and statistics about male survivors of abuse.

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Resources about Trauma Recovery and PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health: clinical information about post-traumatic stress, risk factors and therapeutic interventions.

Facts About Women and Trauma, American Psychology Association: landing page for resources about trauma, including definitions, risk factors and opportunities for help.

Stages of Recovery After Trauma, DomesticShelters.org: description of three stages of trauma recovery for survivors or advocates who are supporting them.

7 Ways Survivors of Sexual Violence Can Practice Self-Care When Re-traumatized During Tragedy, National Sexual Violence Resource Center: list of low-cost self-care strategies for survivors or people in their support system.

Resources to Use in Therapy, Minnesota Trauma Project: downloadable worksheets, activities and strategies for counselors to explore when working with clients who have survived traumatic events.

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Organizations Dedicated to Ending Domestic Violence

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: offers training, support, and consultation to advocates, providers, legal professionals, and policymakers working to improve agency and systems-level responses to survivors and their children.

Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence: provides training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information on gender violence, current research, and culturally specific models of intervention and community engagement.

Futures Without Violence: offers programs, policies and campaigns to empower people and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world.

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project: provides crisis intervention, support and resources for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community: provides research, advocacy and resources to support African American communities, including families, individuals, and organizations serving the community.

Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center: provides trauma-informed treatments and services to children and families who have experienced violence.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: collaborates with national organizations to support policies that serve and protect victims and survivors of domestic violence, and creates campaigns to bring awareness to the cause.

National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (Alianza): works in the areas of research, public policy, training and technical assistance, and community education and development to end domestic violence.

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center: provides national leadership to end violence against American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women by supporting culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy.

Break the Cycle: provides youth leadership opportunities, policy advocacy, and community education about teen dating violence.

Jewish Women International: provides violence prevention programming, financial literacy, economic security and interfaith community building for Jewish women.

Community United Against Violence: supports healing and leadership of people in the LGBTQ community who have been affected by violence and works with broader communities to replace cycles of trauma with cycles of safety.

The Center for Survivor Agency and Justice: advocates for survivors of intimate partner violence at the structural and agency level.

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Resources for Survivors and Advocates, Asista: landing page of links to legal resources for immigrants from an organization that supports frontline advocates and attorneys who provide legal assistance to immigrant survivors.

Report from the Field: Domestic Violence Survivors & the Impact of COVID-19, American Bar Association: webinar recording with information about legal responses for practitioners, advocates and survivors.

Unemployment Insurance & COVID-19: What Domestic/Sexual Violence Attorneys & Advocates Should Know, Center for Survivor Advocacy and Justice: video and PowerPoint of unemployment insurance information for attorneys and advocates helping survivors of domestic violence find support.

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Free and Low-Cost Domestic Violence Resources

myPlan App: mobile app to help with safety decisions if you or someone you care about is experiencing intimate partner abuse or violence

Pods and Pod-mapping Worksheet, Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective: downloadable worksheet for survivors for mapping out a support system and safe contacts in case of an emergency.

Online Support Groups for Survivors, Tech safety: information for survivors who want to connect with online support groups.

Shatterproof: Thriving After Domestic Abuse: survivor-created podcast featuring interviews with other survivors about how they reinvented themselves after escaping an abusive partner.

‎The Domestic Abuse Project Podcast: free podcast featuring stories from survivors to raise awareness about domestic violence and survivors’ needs.

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Books about Trauma Recovery

Best Books on Life after Domestic Violence, Domestic Shelters: list of recommended books for survivors of abusive relationships to read or discuss with a provider.

Life After Abuse: Helpful Books to Check Out, NDVH: recommended books for survivors based on their circumstances and experiences.

Books for Healing, Break the Silence: books about healing from trauma after experiencing abuse, for survivors or people who want to help support the recovery of a loved one.

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Where to Find a Professional Counselor or Social Worker

Find a Social Worker, Help Starts Here: list of free online portals for people seeking a social work professional in their area.

How to Find a Licensed Social Worker, OnlineMSWPrograms: information about finding a social worker in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Social Worker Finder, HelpPRO: free online portal to find a local social worker where users can search by categories including distance, specialization, insurance and age group.

Find a Domestic Violence Therapist, Psychology Today: searchable database of therapists that specialize in domestic violence counseling, organized by city and state.

Can Virtual Support Help You Heal? Domestic Shelters: comparison of different types of virtual counseling and support sessions, including where to find virtual counselors and how to safely access them online.

Psychologist Locator, American Psychological Association: database for finding a psychologist by location.

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Resources about Housing and Shelters

Address Confidentiality Programs, Victims of Crime: locations of address confidentiality programs in 36 states that provide safe and secure addresses for survivors.

The Intersection of Homelessness and Domestic Violence, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: video explaining the complications that domestic violence creates for survivors finding safe and affordable housing.

Transitional Housing Toolkit, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): list of resources about housing, financial stability, technology and confidentiality for organizations providing support to survivors.

16 Things You May Not Know About Housing for Survivors, NNEDV: statistics and educational information bringing awareness to communities about supporting survivors’ needs for housing.

Homeless Shelters,The Salvation Army USA: free online portal for finding a homeless shelter nearby.

Homeless Shelters, Homeless Shelter Directory: interactive map for people searching for a local homeless shelter.

Helping DV Survivors Achieve Safe & Stable Housing, Safe Housing Partnerships: video explaining different approaches to helping survivors of domestic violence find housing.

Transitional Housing, Women’s Shelters: information for women seeking temporary housing, organized by state.

Homelessness Assistance Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: interactive map for identifying local housing assistance programs and grantees in each state.

Domestic Violence Shelters, Safe Horizons: information about the eight shelters and short-term residences provided by Safe Horizons.

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Helping Someone Experiencing Domestic Violence

Offering Support, NDVH: list of articles about how to offer support to a friend or loved one who may be experiencing domestic violence.

Friends + Family Guide: How to help someone who is in an abusive relationship, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: a guide for friends and family on supporting someone in an abusive relationship.

Best Practices for Mobile Computing Devices, Technology Safety: advice for safely using technology to communicate with providers and support systems while in an abusive relationship.

When Someone You Know is Being Abused (PDF, 219KB), NCDVTMH: tip sheet for maintaining safety and well-being while supporting a friend or family member who is experiencing violence.

Personalized Safety Plan, NCADV: fill-in-the-blank prompts for survivors to develop a safety plan.

Using Technology to Communicate with Survivors During a Public Health Crisis, Tech Safety: information on using video calls or web chats as tools to connect with survivors remotely as social distancing prevents advocates from meeting survivors in person.

Bystander Tools, Green Dot: interactive site that explains different intervention styles for bystanders who want to get involved in advocacy or confrontation.

Understanding Domestic Violence, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse Inc.: educational materials about violence prevention, including illustrations of how abuse can manifest in various ways.

Tips for Supporting Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence: What You Might See and What You Can Do (PDF, 251KB), NCDVTMH: tip sheet for providers and advocates about identifying and supporting children who have experienced domestic violence.

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Workplace and Employer Resources

Fostering Safer Workplaces: Addressing Domestic Violence in a Business Setting, Futures without Violence: recording of a webinar about strategies for identifying and responding to domestic violence affecting the workplace and supporting survivors.

When Work is Safer than Home: Supporting Workers Experiencing Violence, Workplaces Respond: landing page for resources about different needs that survivors may have in the workplace.

When Domestic Violence Comes to Work, Society for Human Resources Management: advice for employers and managers for helping survivors by communicating safety and support as a priority.

Survivors & the Workplace, Workplaces Respond: Landing page of resources and information about survivors and the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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En español

Qué esperar cuando se comunique con nosotros, La Línea Nacional Contra la Violencia Doméstica: qué esperar al llamar a la La Línea para obtener ayuda inmediata de un consejero.

Formas de ayudar a niños y adultos que viven con violencia (PDF, 84KB), Futures without Violence: trabaja para ayuda a sobrevivientes y prevenir la violencia en comunidades.

Groups de Apoyo en Línea para Sobrevivientes, Tech Safety: administrado por el Proyecto de red de seguridad, NNEDV, este blog analiza la tecnología, la privacidad y la seguridad para poner fin a la violencia doméstica.

Apoyo para los Trabajadores que Sufren Violencia Doméstica y Sexual Durante la Pandemia, Workplaces Respond: asociación de ocho organizaciones nacionales legales para prevención de la violencia, lideradas por FUTURES y financiadas por la Oficina de Violencia contra la Mujer del Departamento de Justicia de EE. UU.

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Hotlines for Immediate Help

National Domestic Violence Hotline: a free 24/7 phone line to speak with a trained advocate by calling 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline: a free 24/7 phone line to speak with an advocate by calling 800-656-4673 or using an online chat.

National Parent Helpline: a free phone line for parents seeking emotional support and advocacy Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST by calling 1-855-427-2736.

StrongHearts Native Helpline: a confidential phone line specifically for survivors in Native American communities, available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT at 1−844-762-8483.

love is respect:  a 24/7 phone and text line for teen dating violence support, available by chat, texting “loveis” to 1-866-331-9474, or calling 1-866-331-9474

Crisis Text Line: a free text line for anyone experiencing mental distress, anxiety or feelings of depression.

Peace Over Violence: a 24/7 emergency hotline for survivors seeking support, shelter or other resources by calling 213-626-3393, 310-392-8381, or 626-793-3385 

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Are you interested in a career supporting survivors of domestic violence? Learn more about how to become a licensed clinical social worker from Online MSW Programs, or visit the National Association of Social Workers’ Career Center.