What Should I Do?
If you’re afraid of your partner or concerned that you, or a friend, are being abused:
Reach out for help
Talk to someone you trust, or call:
Adult Line: 1-877-503-1850
Teen Line: 1-877-923-0700
24-hour support and information is available toll-free, across California.
You are not responsible for the abuse!
Batterers often blame their abusive behavior on drugs or alcohol, stress, childhood abuse, or their partner. If your partner’s behavior makes you feel unsafe, you are not to blame. If you have experienced abuse, you may have feelings of isolation, fear, shame, and hopelessness. That’s normal and okay. You are not responsible for someone else’s violence.
It is a crime if someone physically hurts or threatens you. No one has the right to hurt you, even if that person is a spouse, partner, or family member.
Go somewhere safe.
The instant a partner hits you or threatens to hit you, the minute you feel fear, get away immediately. Go to a friend or relative’s house, or to a battered women’s shelter. Shelters will protect you whether you are married or single, whether you have children or do not, and they will help you decide what to do next.
Call the police.
If your partner has hurt you or if you are afraid, you have the right to call the police. What he or she is doing is illegal whether you are married or not. In many states, including California, the police can immediately remove the batterer from the premises and arrest him or her.
Get an order of protection.
An order of protection means that the batterer is breaking the law if he or she comes after you again, and can be arrested. Call a hotline number to get more information.
You are not alone.
Domestic violence affects all of us—children, teens, adults, elders. It occurs between people of all races, nationalities, economic classes, ages, physical abilities, and education levels. It takes place in all types of intimate relationships—heterosexual, same-sex, marriage, dating, and former relationships. It can also happen in relationships between two people who are not intimate partners, like between two family members or an elder adult and their caregiver. It can happen to anyone. If you are a victim or survivor of abuse, you are not alone.