I’m in an abusive relationship. Where do I go for help?
You can call your local domestic violence agency 24/7. You’ll talk to a caring person who will listen carefully without judging you or your situation. Advocates can help you think about your options and determine what steps and services will work best for you. Our advocates may ask questions to learn more about your situation, but will always take your lead. While they will not presume to know what is best for you, they will ask that you consider all possible scenarios and outcomes so that you can make the best decision about action steps for you and your children.
Each comprehensive domestic violence agency works with people of all races, ethnicities, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, cultural backgrounds, religions, and all economic and social backgrounds. Services are free and confidential. They will not report you to immigration, ICE, or law enforcement if you are undocumented.
What options do I have?
You have many options, from obtaining a protection order, to staying in a shelter, or exploring options through a support group or anonymous calls to a local program. There is hope. You are not alone. Learn more about your options here.
Is it possible for an abuser to change?
Are men victims of domestic violence?
Why don’t victims leave the relationship?
- Love: Abusers are not hurtful all the time. Many abusers have a likable and loving side. Many victims think that they can change the abuser’s behavior.
- Fear: Many abusers threaten to hurt or kill themselves if their victim decides to leave. Abusers often threaten that the violence will get worse if the partner decides to leave. Finally, the most dangerous time for a victim is when she’s trying to leave.
- Doubt: It’s not always easy for a victim to admit that the relationship is abusive. If the victim’s partner is especially popular at school or in the community, the victim may be concerned about losing social status.
- Embarrassment: Victims can be afraid of an “I told you so” response from those who have tried to help in the past.
- Hope for Change: Victims often believe that the abuser will return to the person they was at the beginning of the relationship— the person they fell in love with.
- Isolation: As a tactic of the abuse, the abuser is likely to have made it difficult for the victim to access resources and supportive people.
- Societal Denial: Abusers often have a public face that is charming and charismatic; it is difficult for those who only know that side to believe that abuse is taking place.
- Societal Expectations: The victim may see ending the relationship as a failure and may also fear social stigma. The victim may not fit stereotypes about victims of domestic abuse.
- Lack of Resources: It may be difficult or impossible for the victim to contact supportive people, and she may not have money or any way to find housing.
Are you hiring?
Do you hire interns?
Sometimes! Check here.
Do you take volunteers?
If you are interested in volunteering with survivors, there are programs across Maryland who are committed to ending the violence and helping victims rebuild their lives. To find a program near you in need of volunteers, click here.
Can you train my group?
Do you provide CEUs for your trainings?
Social work CEUs are available for FREE for our individual members and for staff members at member organizations. For information on becoming an MNADV member, go online here.For people who are NOT members and would like Social Work CEUs, they can be purchased for a nominal fee. More information here.
What can I do about domestic violence?
Learning about domestic violence and the issues surrounding it will educate you and enable you to recognize that it’s everywhere.
- Speak up
Everyone can speak out against domestic violence. The problem will continue until society stands up with one resounding voice and says, “no more!” You can also call on your public officials to support life-saving domestic violence services and hold perpetrators accountable.
If you’re considering volunteering, think about donating your time to a domestic violence service provider. It would not only allow you to assist in ending domestic violence, but it would offer a better perspective on the issue.
You can donate to MNADV directly, or any of the amazing local domestic violence programs in Maryland.