Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
on Victims of Abuse
Q: In the event of domestic violence, what should a person do?
A: First, it is important for the person to get away from the aggressor. S/he should seek the help of a friend or a neighbor. In the event of domestic violence, make a request for police help immediately. Often, local police officers and sheriffs have received special training on domestic violence and it can be helpful to a victim. City and district attorneys may be very helpful not only in prosecuting the crime, but also in providing referrals to other local help. Victims can usually find help in emergency shelters such as “safe houses,” counseling, and legal help.
A victim of domestic violence should never try to “go it alone.” The usual profile of an abusive person is an aggressive, dominant personality that is both manipulative and controlling. The victim of domestic violence is often very vulnerable and can become persuaded from attempting to receive help. Outside help is often essential in protecting a victim of domestic violence.
A victim of domestic violence should never shy away from requesting help, because of a perceived stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence pervades all socio-economic classes. A “rich” person is as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as a “poor” one. Whatever your background, if someone abused you, call a domestic abuse hotline immediately. For more information about domestic violence, visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.