PHOENIX — If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is available.
Signs of an abusive relationship:
- Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
- Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
- Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
- Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or to exert control over another person.
Important things to know:
If you or another person is in immediate danger, call 911.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
For the deaf or hard of hearing: 1-800-787-3224
A Survivor’s Guide to Reporting Sexual Assault:
The CDC says most instances of sexual assault happened at home and by someone who the victim knows. Most cases go unreported.
There are nonprofit services across Arizona that serve as shelters and offer a comprehensive source of resources for victims. Here's a list of services by county:
ATTORNEYS AND LEGAL HELP
After finding security, the next step for many will be obtaining legal help and protection during a crisis.
For information on how to file a restraining order in Phoenix, go to the city’s website: https://www.phoenix.gov/court/protection-orders
TALKING TO VICTIMS
Trying to manage a delicate situation like domestic violence is difficult, especially for anyone dealing with it for the first time. Here are tips from the City of Phoenix website about comforting someone in this difficult situation.
- Don't be afraid to let them know you are concerned for their safety.
Tell them you see what is going on and you want to help. Help them recognize what is happening is not normal and they deserve a life free from violence.
- Acknowledge they are in a very difficult and scary situation.
Let them know the abuse and/or assault is not their fault. Reassure them that they are not alone and there is help and support available.
- Be supportive.
Listen to them. Remember it may be difficult for them to talk about the violence. Let them know you are available to help whenever they may need it. What they need most is someone who will believe and listen to them.
- Be nonjudgmental.
Respect their decisions. Do not criticize their decisions or try to make them feel guilty. They will need your support even more during these times.
- If they end the relationship, continue to be supportive of them.
Even though the relationship was abusive, they may still feel sad and lonely once it ends. They will need time to mourn the loss of the relationship and will especially need your support at that time.
- Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance.
Find a local sexual assault or domestic violence program that they can connect with. If they have to go to the police, court, or a lawyer, offer to go with them for moral support.
- Remember that you cannot "rescue" them.
Although it is difficult to see someone you care about get hurt, ultimately, they have to be the ones to decide what they need to do and when.
- Discuss safety concerns with them.
Remember that a survivor knows their situation best. It's important to talk with them about how to access resources for identifying safety plans. You may have ideas about what they should do but it's important that you allow them to make their own choices.
This article is purely meant to be informative and is not comprehensive of all resources available.