Help and resources available for those in abusive relationships

Close up of a injured and scared woman driving a car

Domestic violence is a tough topic but one that needs to be addressed.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, an average of 24 people per minute are the victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by a partner.

For those facing a domestic violence situation, it can be confusing.

According to HelpGuide.org, there are several signs you may be in an abusive relationship:

  • You feel afraid of your partner most of the time
  • You avoid certain topics for fear of angering your partner
  • You believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated
  • You feel you can’t do anything right for your partner
  • You wonder if you’re the one who’s crazy
  • You feel emotionally numb or helpless
  • Your partner humiliates or yells at you
  • Your partner criticizes you and puts you down
  • Your partner treats you so badly you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see
  • You ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments
  • Your partner blames you for their own abusive behavior
  • Your partner sees you as property rather than a person
  • Your partner acts excessively jealous and possessive
  • Your partner controls where you go or what you do
  • Your partner keeps you from seeing your friends or family
  • Your partner limits your access to money, the phone, or the car
  • Your partner constantly checks up on you

If you believe someone you know may be facing a domestic violence situation, Crisis Services of North Alabama has some ways they recommend you approach the situation.

  • Gently ask direct questions about your concerns and give your friend time to answer.
  • Listen attentively without judging or rushing to provide solutions.
  • Let your friend know that you are available to offer support and caring. You cannot take responsibility for stopping the violence. Only the abuser can do this.
  • Offer to help provide your friend with some educational resources about abuse.
  • If your friend plans to remain in the relationship, continue to be a friend. Avoid giving your friend ultimatums to choose you or their partner.
  • If your friend has children and is concerned about their well-being, reinforce their concern.
  • Emphasize two important things to remember: Abuse in a relationship is never acceptable, and, despite their partner’s promises, the violence is likely to continue and eventually escalate.
  • Help provide your friend with information about Crisis Services and local resources. Give your friend the HELPline number – (256) 716-1000
  • If you witness or hear an assault in progress, call 911. Do not attempt to physically intervene.

If you suspect someone you know is facing a domestic violence situation it’s recommended that you ask if something wrong, express your concern, listen and validate, offer help and support that person’s decisions.

It’s important not to put pressure on the person or judge their decisions.

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