Educating Women, Children, and Families on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

By Holly Cochran PhD

"A lifetime history of sexual abuse among women in childhood or adulthood ranges from 15% to 25%. The prevalence of domestic violence among women in the United States ranges from 9% to 44%, depending on definitions."

“A lifetime history of sexual abuse among women in childhood or adulthood ranges from 15% to 25%. The prevalence of domestic violence among women in the United States ranges from 9% to 44%, depending on definitions.”

Child Abuse

Child abuse is often hidden. Abusers work hard to cover up the signs of abuse. Children are less likely to report it. Adults are always responsible for the safety of children. Learn about child abuse and what to do to protect children.

Types of Child Abuse

Any mistreatment of a minor child that results in a physical injury, sexual exploitation, psychological harm, emotional distress or death can be defined as child abuse. Child abuse also includes failing to provide for the needs of a child.

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse means causing injury or pain to a child. It can be as simple as a slap or a shove, or as severe as a beating, burning or cutting. Usually, physical abuse happens on purpose, but not always. Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) or Shaken Baby Syndrome is a type of physical abuse.

Sometimes parents do not know the boundaries between discipline and abuse, or they may lash out at their child in anger. In abuse, unlike discipline, the attacks are unpredictable, and the child is never sure what behavior will trigger an assault. The abuser uses fear of the assault to control the child’s behavior, and the abuse is triggered by the abuser’s anger.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

Emotional abuse can be more damaging to the child than physical abuse. Emotional abuse can cause children to lose confidence in the world and for them to lose trust in others. It can take the form of threatening, shouting, name calling or withdrawing affection from the child.

Sometimes, emotional and psychological abuse means forcing a child to live in an environment where they witness domestic violence or other violent acts. An emotionally abused child might be told they are worthless, lazy, ugly or stupid, and they come to believe this. It may even include forcing the child to witness the abuse of a pet or a sibling.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse always affects a child’s emotional well-being as well as their physical health. It happens to boys and girls of every age. It might involve physical contact, forced oral sex or penetration, or non-contact abuse such as being made to witness sexual acts or view pornography.


Child neglect is the most common form of child abuse. Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for the basic needs of the child, including the emotional as well as physical, medical and educational needs. Sometimes adults use neglect to control the child’s behavior. At other times, the neglect is unintentional when parents do not understand the needs of children. Neglect also occurs when parents are too poor to provide for their children.

Effects of Child Abuse

Every kind of child abuse and neglect leaves a lasting scar on the child, and the costs of abuse and neglect are staggering. Abuse and neglect can damage a child’s sense of self-worth, their ability to engage in healthy adult relationships and to have a normal adult life at work, home, and school. Some of the effects include:

Know the Numbers About Child Abuse and Neglect

These costs are paid for by the public – the taxpayer – for the most part. They include:

Often, the first consequence of child abuse and neglect are emotional and mental health problems. Sexual abuse often results in the most significant impairment.

It is important to realize that while adult survivors of childhood abuse suffer these negative impacts as a group, many individual survivors do not face these consequences. Childhood abuse does not automatically sentence a person to an impaired life!

The full text of Child Maltreatment 2013 is available online at

2014 Full Child Advocacy Center Statistics

Of the over 315,000 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the US in 2014:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children & Families. Child Maltreatment 2013.

There were approximately 244,000 alleged offenders investigated for child mistreatment in 2014.

National Children’s Alliance 2013 and 2014 national statistics collected from Children’s Advocacy Center members and available on the NCA website:


A perpetrator of abuse is someone who has caused or knowingly allowed mistreatment of a child. If you see signs of being at risk of harming a child in yourself or someone else, it is important to seek help BEFORE a child is harmed.

Some warning signs of a possible child abuser:

If you recognize these signs in yourself, please talk with a child abuse professional about how to get preventative help. Remember, the adult is always in control when it comes to causing harm to a child.


Adults can take steps to prevent child abuse at any time. Just by educating yourself about child abuse is one step in preventing it. You are becoming aware of the issue and some of the signs of child abuse. This makes you a more protective adult.

As many as nine out of ten children do no tell anyone that they are being abused, especially in cases of sexual abuse. This makes it very important for adults to recognize the behaviors that signal something may be wrong. If you are uncomfortable with something, say something.. You are the first defense in keeping children safe from abuse.

Family factors and prevention of abuse:

Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect

If child abuse or neglect occurs, intervention is most effective when it happens quickly. Child abuse can be very subtle, and it is easy to miss the warning signs. Remember, though, that just because a warning sign is seen does not mean abuse or neglect has occurred. It is important to look for patterns of behavior and warning signs.

Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

Warning Signs of Physical Abuse

Warning Signs of Neglect

Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

What to Do

Helping a child deal with abuse or neglect is difficult but important. It starts with teaching your children how to protect themselves from abuse, learning about touch and about how to talk to trusted adults. Protecting children from abuse also means showing them that you can be safe – you do not live in an environment where abuse is tolerated.

If a child comes to you and discloses abuse, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. However, you can make an enormous difference in the life of that child by taking steps to halt the abuse early. The best thing you can do is to remain calm and provide unconditional support and reassurance.

Most child sexual abuse occurs when children are in isolated activities with an adult, or when older children have unsupervised access to younger children.

How to Report

The Child Protective Services (CPS) agency in your state may be called something different, but regardless of the name it is the center of child protection efforts. They are required by law to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect, along with law enforcement, health care providers, mental health agencies and others.

If you have any suspicion that a child is being harmed, it is vital that you make a report to CPS. In every state, people can make reports of suspected child abuse or neglect anonymously. Your name and address will never be revealed to the family.

How to Get Help for Yourself

Breaking the cycle of child abuse

If you are the survivor of child abuse or neglect, having your own children may be challenging. It may trigger strong feelings and memories about your abuse. You CAN learn ways to manage your emotions and break old patterns of abuse.

Remember, you are the most important person in your children’s world. Help and support are available to you.

Domestic Violence/Abuse

Anyone can be the victim of domestic violence and abuse. Recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it and getting help. No one needs to live in daily fear of the person they love.

Why Does Domestic Violence Occur?

Domestic violence is about control over another person by whatever means necessary. Abuse might involve emotional or financial manipulation and abuse, psychological intimidation, physical threats or physical violence, or even sexual abuse or rape. Domestic abuse is more likely to occur when one partner was raised in an abusive home, or where mental illness or substance abuse is an issue.


Domestic abuse occurs when one person who lives with another under the same roof tries to dominate and control the other person. It can include physical violence, emotional and psychological abuse, financial abuse and more. The consequences of domestic abuse can be anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and isolation, physical injury or death.

Physical Abuse

Most people think of physical abuse when talking about domestic violence. Physical assault or battery, causing injury to another person or the threat to do so are all parts of physical abuse. Sexual abuse and marital rape are also forms of physical domestic violence. Even a push, shove or slap is physical violence and is a crime.

Emotional and Verbal Abuse

The threats and verbal assaults may not have led to physical violence, yet, but these forms of domestic abuse can be just as frightening and harmful as a physical confrontation. Name calling, belittling, blaming and shaming, intimidating, isolation and controlling behaviors are all forms of emotional and verbal abuse.

Financial or Economic Abuse

Because an abuser’s goal is to control, they often use money and economic power as a weapon. Economic or financial abuse includes:

There is no particular age, gender or social rank that is more likely to be abused or be an abuser. It is impossible to tell who is an abuser from the outside. Most often, women with children are the targets of abuse because they are in a position of being financially and emotionally dependent on their spouse or partner. Regardless of the kind of abuse you might have suffered or dealt, help is available.

Male Victims

Men experience domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault, but they may not report it for fear of being shamed or not believed. However, support for male victims is just as important as it is for women. All of the information on this page applies equally to men and women. Many local programs and state domestic violence coalitions assist male victims.

Data suggests that up to one in three men may be victims of domestic violence. Men often fear to report incidents because they believe police will think they are the perpetrator and not the victim. Abusive women engage in the same behaviors as do abusive men.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Answer the questions below. Count the “yes” answers. The more of them you have, the more likely it is that you are in an abusive relationship.

Do you:

  1. Often feel afraid of your partner?
  2. Avoid talking about certain things out of fear of angering your partner?
  3. Believe you must deserve to be hurt or treated badly?
  4. Sometimes wonder if you are crazy?
  5. Feel helpless or emotionally numb inside?

Does your partner:

  1. Humiliate you or yell at you?
  2. Put you down or criticize you?
  3. Treat you badly enough that you are embarrassed for your family and friends to see?
  4. Put down or ignore your accomplishments and opinions?
  5. Blame you when they become abusive?
  6. See you as their property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Does your partner:

  1. Have a severe or unpredictable temper?
  2. Ever hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  3. Threaten to hurt or take away your children?
  4. Threaten to kill themselves if you leave?
  5. Force you to have sex or to do sexual things against your will?
  6. Destroy your belongings?
  7. Harm pets?

Does your partner:

  1. Ever act excessively possessive or jealous?
  2. Ever try to control where you go, what you do or who you see?
  3. Ever try to keep you from seeing or contacting friends and family?
  4. Ever limit your access to the car, a phone or money?
  5. Constantly check up on you when you are out?

The most telling sign of an abusive relationship is when you feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” around your partner because you never know what will set off an explosion. If this is the case, chances are good you are in an abusive relationship.

Know the Numbers


It is important to remember these things about people who commit acts of domestic violence:

Lethality Assessments

Too often, victims of domestic violence return to their abuser again and again, believing things will be better. All too often, it is worse. If you are in a violent relationship, ask yourself these questions and think about the risks associated with each behavior. Each yes answer indicates a higher risk that the abuser is likely to increase their violence, possibly to the point of murdering you or others in the home.

Is it worth the risk to return?

  1. Has the abuser ever threatened to kill you, your children, your family, or themselves? Threats to kill are one of the strongest risk factors consistently linked to the murder of a partner in domestic violence cases.
  2. Has the abuser ever talked about having ideas, fantasies or dreams about killing you or anyone else? This is also a risk factor linked to homicide, and the risk is greater if the abuser is very specific about plans or methods.
  3. Has the abuser made more than one threat? How often? Daily? Monthly? What are the threats? An increase in the frequency of threats indicates greater risk.
  4. Are weapons available to the abuser, or has the abuser used weapons in the past (guns, knives, baseball bats, etc.)? Access to weapons indicates a strong risk for murder.
  5. Has the abuser ever used their hands or an object (rope, etc.) to choke, strangulate or try to suffocate you? This is another high-risk factor for murder.
  6. Has the abuser had a history of arson or making threats of arson/fire setting?
  7. Does the abuser make statements of ownership of you, for example, “If I can’t have you, no one else can,” or “Death before divorce?” When a victim leaves and abusive relationship, this can be a very dangerous time, especially when the abuser has made statements like these.
  8. Has there been violence when you have tried to leave the relationship before? A victim leaving a relationship indicates the abuser has lost control over them.
  9. Does the abuser depend heavily on you, put you above others or try to isolate you from the rest of the community?
  10. Has the abuser ever held you against your will, taken you hostage or stalked you?
  11. Is the abuser depressed or feeling hopeless? This is a serious risk factor for murder-suicide in domestic violence cases.
  12. Has the abuser ever physically abused you during pregnancy? Frequently, domestic violence escalates from verbal to physical during pregnancy.
  13. Does the abuser frequently use alcohol or other drugs? Impaired judgment can increase the risk of serious physical assault or murder.

What to Do

If you see any warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

People who are being emotionally or verbally abused might:

People who are being physically abused may:

People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

People who are being psychologically abused may:

Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse. You may be the one person who is a lifeline to the domestic violence victim. Talk to them privately to let them know you are concerned. Point out the specific things that make you worry. Tell them you are there for them if they need to talk. Reassure them that you will help in whatever way you can.

How to Help Yourself

People who have never been in abusive relationships do not understand the difficulties of leaving. Ending any relationship is hard, and most victims of abuse have been isolated from family and friends, emotionally beaten, financially drained and physically threatened or harmed.

If you are the victim who is trying to decide whether to leave or stay, your emotions are probably all over the place. Fear, uncertainty, and indecision are common. You might blame yourself, feel weak or embarrassed, or want to stay some of the times. Do not let yourself get trapped by guilt or blame. Your safety is most important.

If You Are Abused, Remember:

Signs That Your Abuser is NOT Changing:

Prepare for emergencies

Make an Escape Plan

If You Stay

If you decide to stay with your abusive partner for the time being, do your best to protect your children and yourself.

Domestic Violence Shelters

A domestic violence shelter may be a building or apartment complex where victims of abuse can hide from their abusers. The address of such shelters is confidential as part of keeping abusers from finding their victims.

Shelters usually have space for parents as well as children. They provide a safe place to live while helping you find a permanent place to live and the things you need to start a new life. The shelter will be able to refer you to other services in your community, including:

If you go to a shelter, you do not have to give any identifying information about yourself. If you choose to give your name, this information is kept confidential. Many shelters allow residents to use a fake name to help keep abusers from locating them.

Protecting Y
ourself After You’ve Left

You need to stay safe after you’ve left an abusive relationship. You may need to move so your abuser cannot find you, and your children may have to change schools. If you stay in the same area, you should change your routine. For instance, take a different route to work and avoid places where your abuser might try to find you. Find new places to shop or run errands, and keep a cell phone with you at all times.

Reporting and Prosecuting Domestic Violence

Restraining Orders

You are entitled to get a protective order or restraining order against your abuser. Police can only enforce the order if someone violates it AND if someone reports the violation. This means you must be endangered, and you must call the police for them to help you.

You need to research how protection orders are enforced. Will the abuser be given a ticket or taken to jail? If police only talk with the abuser and release them, this may give the abuser a reason to try and retaliate against you. Do not let a restraining order make you feel completely secure.

Child Abuse Reporting Hotlines (all states)

1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368) – Stop It Now

1-800-656-HOPE – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Each State designates specific agencies to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Typically, this responsibility is carried out by child protective services (CPS) within a Department of Social Services, Department of Human Resources, or Division of Family and Children Services. In some States, police departments may also receive reports of child abuse or neglect.

In most cases, the toll-free numbers listed below are only accessible from within the State listed. If calling from out-of-State, use the local (toll) number listed. Also listed below are links to State websites, which can provide additional information.


Local (toll): (334) 242-9500


Toll-Free: (800) 478-4444


Toll-Free: (888) SOS-CHILD (888-767-2445)


Toll-Free: (800) 482-5964





Local (toll): (303) 866-5932



TDD: (800) 624-5518

Toll-Free: (800) 842-2288



Toll-Free: (800) 292-9582


District of Columbia

Local (toll): (202) 671-SAFE (202-671-7233)



Toll-Free: (800) 96-ABUSE (800-962-2873)





Local (toll): (808) 832-5300



Toll-Free: (800) 926-2588


Toll-Free: (800) 252-2873

Local (toll): (217) 524-2606



Toll-Free: (800) 800-5556



Toll-Free: (800) 362-2178



Toll-Free: (800) 922-5330



Toll-Free: (800) 752-6200


Toll-Free: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437)


TTY: (800) 963-9490

Toll-Free: (800) 452-1999





Toll-Free: (800) 792-5200



Toll-Free: (855) 444-3911




Toll-Free: (800) 222-8000

Local (toll): (601) 359-4991



Toll-Free: (800) 392-3738

Local (toll): (573) 751-3448


Toll-Free: (866) 820-5437


Toll-Free: (800) 652-1999



Toll-Free: (800) 992-5757

Local (toll): (775) 684-4400

New Hampshire

Toll-Free: (800) 894-5533

Local (toll): (603) 271-6556


New Jersey

TDD: (800) 835-5510

TTY: (800) 835-5510

Toll-Free: (877) 652-2873


New Mexico

Toll-Free: (800) 797-3260

Local (toll): (505) 841-6100


New York

TDD: (800) 369-2437

Toll-Free: (800) 342-3720

Local (toll): (518) 474-8740


North Carolina


North Dakota




Contact the county Public Children Services Agency using the list above


Toll-Free: (800) 522-3511





Toll-Free: (800) 932-0313


Puerto Rico

Toll-Free: (800) 981-8333

Local (toll): (787) 749-1333

Rhode Island

Toll-Free: (800) RI-CHILD (800-742-4453)


South Carolina

Local (toll): (803) 898-7318


South Dakota

Local (toll): (605) 773-3227



Toll-Free: (877) 237-0004



Toll-Free: (800) 252-5400

Local (toll): (512) 834-3784



Toll-Free: (800) 678-9399



After hours: (800) 649-5285



Toll-Free: (800) 552-7096

Local (toll): (804) 786-8536



TTY: (800) 624-6186

Toll-Free: (866) END-HARM (866-363-4276)

After hours: (800) 562-5624


West Virginia

Toll-Free: (800) 352-6513


Wisconsin Reports of alleged child abuse or neglect should be made to the county where the child or the child’s family resides





Children’s Defense Fund 


Child Welfare League of America 


National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Child Protection and Custody/Resource Center on Domestic Violence


Center for Judicial Excellence

Domestic Violence Hotlines (all states)

In the US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P. O. Box 4762

Montgomery, AL 36101

Hotline: 1 (800) 650-6522

Office: (334) 832-4842 Fax: (334) 832-4803



Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

130 Seward Street, Suite 214

Juneau, AK 99801

Office: (907) 586-3650



Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence

2800 N. Central Ave., Suite 1570

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Hotline: 1 (800) 782-6400

Office: (602) 279-2900 Fax: (602) 279-2980



Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 170

Little Rock, AR 72201

Hotline: 1 (800) 269-4668

Office: (501) 907-5612 Fax: (501) 907-5618


California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

P. O. Box 1798

Sacramento, CA 95812

Hotline: 1 (800) 524-4765

Office: (916) 444-7163 Fax: (916) 444-7165



Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1120 Lincoln St, #900

Denver, CO 80203

Office: (303) 831-9632


Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

912 Silas Deane Highway, Lower Level

Wethersfield, CT 06109

Hotline: (888) 774-2900

Office: (860) 282-7899 Fax: (860) 282-7892


Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence

100 W. 10th Street, Suite 903

Wilmington, DE 19801

Northern Delaware: (302) 762-6110

Southern Delaware: (302) 422-8058 Bilingual: (302) 745-9874

Office: (302) 658-2958


DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

5 Thomas Circle, NW

Washington, DC 20005

Office: (202) 299-1181 Fax: (202) 299-1193



Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

425 Office Plaza

Tallahassee, FL 32301

Hotline: (800) 500-1119

TDD: (850) 621-4202

Office: (850) 425-2749 Fax: (850) 425-3091


Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

114 New Street, Suite B

Decatur, GA 30030

Hotline: 1 (800) 334-2836

Office: (404) 209-0280 Fax: (404) 766-3800


Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

P.O. Box 1093

Hagatna, GU 96932

Office: (671) 479-2277 Fax: (671) 479-7233



Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

810 Richards Street, Suite 960

Honolulu, HI 96813

Office: (808) 832-9316 Fax: (808) 841-6028


Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

300 E. Mallard Drive, Suite 130

Boise, ID 83706

Office: (208) 384-0419



Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Hotline: (877) 863-6338

Office: (217) 789-2830


Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1915 W. 18th Street, Suite B

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Hotline: 1 (800) 332-7385

Office: (317) 917-3685 Fax: (317) 917-3695


Iowa Coalition against Domestic Violence

3030 Merle Hay Road

Des Moines, IA 50310

Hotline: 1 (800) 942-0333

Office: (515) 244-8028 Fax: (515) 244-7417



Kansas Coalition against Sexual & Domestic Violence

634 SW Harrison Street

Topeka, KS 66603

Hotline: 1 (888) 363-2287

Office: (785) 232-9784 Fax: (785) 266-1874


Kentucky Domestic Violence Association

111 Darby Shire Circle

Frankfort, KY 40601

Office: (502) 209-5382 Fax: (502) 226-5382



Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 77308

Baton Rouge, LA 70879

Hotline: 1 (888) 411-1333

Office: (225) 752-1296


Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

One Weston Court, Box#2

Augusta, ME 04330

Hotline: 1 (866) 834-4357

Office: (207) 430-8334 Fax: (207) 430-8348



Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

4601 Presidents Dr., Ste. 370

Lanham, MD 20706

Hotline: 1 (800) 634-3577

Office: (301) 429-3601 Fax: (301) 429-3605



Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence/Jane Doe, Inc.

14 Beacon Street, Suite 507

Boston, MA 02108

Hotline: 1 (877) 785-2020

TTY/TTD: 1 (877) 521-2601

Office: (617) 248-0922 Fax: (617) 248-0902



Michigan Coalition To End Domestic & Sexual Violence

3893 Okemos Road, Suite B2

Okemos, MI 48864

Office: (517) 347-7000 Fax: (517) 347-1377

TTY: (517) 381-8470


Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women

60 Plato Blvd. E, Suite 130

Saint Paul, MN 55107

Hotline: 1 (866) 223-1111

Office: (651) 646-6177 Fax: (651) 646-1527


Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 4703

Jackson, MS 39296

Hotline: 1 (800) 898-3234

Office: (601) 981-9196 Fax: (601) 981-2501



Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

217 Oscar Dr., Suite A

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Office: (573) 634-4161


Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

32 S Ewing St

Helena, MT 59601

Office: (406) 443-7794



Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition

245 South 84th St, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68510

Office: (402) 476-6256 Fax: (402) 476-6806

Spanish Hotline: (877) 215-0167


Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence

250 South Rock Bldvd., Suite 116

Reno, NV 89502

(775) 828-1115 Fax: (775) 828-9911


New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

P.O. Box 353

Concord, NH 03302

Hotline: 1 (866) 644-3574

Office: (603) 224-8893 Fax: (603) 228-6096


New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women

1670 Whitehorse Hamilton Square

Trenton, NJ 08690

Hotline: 1 (800) 572-7233 TTY: (800) 787-3224

Office: (609) 584-8107 Fax: (609) 584-9750


New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1210 Luisa Street, Suite 7

Santa Fe, NM 87505

Office: (505) 246-9240 Fax: (505) 246-9240



New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

119 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor

Albany, NY 12210

Hotline NYS: 1 (800) 942-6906

Hotline NYC: 1 (800) 621-4673

Office: (518) 482-5465 Fax: (518) 482-3807


North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

3710 University Drive, Suite 140

Durham, NC 27707

Office: (919) 956-9124 Fax: (919) 682-1449


North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services

525 N. 4th St.

Bismark, ND 58501

Office: (701) 255-6240 Fax: (701) 255-1904


Ohio Domestic Violence Network

Hotline: (800) 934-9840


Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

3815 N. Santa Fe Ave., Suite 124

Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Hotline: 1 (800) 522-7233

Office: (405) 524-0700 TTY: (405) 512-5577



Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

1737 NE Alberta Street, Suite 205

Portland, OR 97211

Hotline: 1 (888) 235-5333

Office: (503) 230-1951 Fax: (503) 230-1973


Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

3605 Vartan Way, Suite 101

Harrisburg PA 17110

Office (717) 545-6400 TTY (800) 553-2508


Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer

Apartado 193008

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00919-3008

Office: (787) 281-7579



Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

422 Post Road, Suite 201

Warwick, RI 02888

Hotline: 1 (800) 494-8100

Office: (401) 467-9940 Fax: (401) 467-9943



South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 7776

Columbia, SC 29202

Office: (803) 256-2900


South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 141

Pierre, SD 57501

Office: (605) 945-0869


Tennessee Coalition To End Domestic & Sexual Violence

2 International Plaza Dr. Suite 425

Nashville, TN 37217

Hotline: 1 (800) 356-6767

Office: (615) 386-9406


Texas Council on Family Violence

P.O. Box 163865

Austin, TX 78716

Office: (512) 794-1133 Fax: (512) 685.6397


Women’s Coalition of St. Croix

P.O. Box 222734

Christiansted, VI 00822-2734

Hotline: (340) 773-9272

Fax: (340) 773-9062



Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

205 North 400 West,

Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Hotline: 1 (800) 897-5465

Office: (801) 521-5544


Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

P.O. Box 405

Montpelier, VT 05601

Hotline: 1 (800) 228-7395

Office: (802) 223-1302 Fax: (802) 223-6943



Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance

5008 Monument Avenue, Suite A

Richmond, VA 23230

Office: (804) 377-0335



Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

711 Capitol Way, Suite 702

Olympia, WA 98501

Hotline: 1 (800) 562-6025

Office: (360) 586-1022 Fax: (360) 586-1024



West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

5004 Elk River Road, South

Elkview, WV 25071

Office: (304) 965-3552 Fax: (304) 965-3572


Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1245 E. Washington Ave, Suite 150

Madison, WI 53703

Office: (608) 255-0539 Fax: (608) 255-3560



Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

P.O. Box 236

710 Garfield Street, Suite 218

Laramie, WY 82073

Office: (307) 755-5481 Fax: (307) 755-5482


Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women

Box 252

Harmony ME, 04942

Hotline: 888-7HELPLINE


Free, online, searchable database of domestic violence shelter programs nationally

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline 


Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 

International Toll-Free (24/7)

1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

National Sexual Assault Hotline 

1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

National Center for Victims of Crime 


National Human Trafficking Resource Center/Polaris Project 

Call: 1-888-373-7888 | Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights 


National Coalition for the Homeless 




Love is respect 

Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

Break the Cycle 



Differently Abled

Domestic Violence Initiative

(303) 839-5510/ (877) 839-5510

Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN) 


VP: 202-559-5366


Women of Color

Women of Color Network 


INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence





Casa de Esperanza 

Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line




The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project

(202) 274-4457

Indigenous Women

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center 


Indigenous Women’s Network 



Asian/Pacific Islander

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence 


Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) 

1-212- 473-6485





Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community 


The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute 



Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Gay, Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming

The Audre Lorde Project 


LAMBDA GLBT Community Services 


National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 



Abuse in Later Life

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life 


National Center for Elder Abuse 




National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) 


A Call to Men 


Men Can Stop Rape 


Men Stopping Violence




American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence 


Battered Women’s Justice Project 


Legal Momentum 


National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women 

1-800-903-0111 x 3


Resources on the Web (Links)

Safe Horizon

Futures Without Violence

Women’s Law

Kids Matter Inc.

The Red Flag Campaign

Crisis Text Line

Darkness to Light

National Children’s Alliance

Truth Alliance Foundation

National Center for Education Statistics

Administration for Children and Families



Privacy Rights

Leaving Abuse

Child Help

Helpguide Articles – Child Abuse

Help Guide Articles – Domestic Violence

Mayo Clinic – Domestic Violence Against Men

Mayo Clinic – Child Abuse Risk Factors

Healthy Children

US Department of Justice

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Violence Prevention

CDC Costs of Child Maltreatment

CDC Intimate Partner Violence

CDC Violence Prevention

CDC Costs of Intimate Partner Violence

Prevention Institute

Women Thrive – Violence Against Women

World Health Organization

Prevent Child Abuse

American Academy of Pediatrics

CASA for Children

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

National Council of Child and Family Violence

National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect

The Child Abuse Prevention Center

US Bureau of Justice Statistics

Child Helpline International A global portal for children with a list of crisis lines and web resources around the world.

National Children’s Alliance

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Sex Offender Public Registry coordinated by the Department of Justice

State Sex Offender Registry Websites: The Investigative Programs Crimes Against Children unit of the FBI provides updated links to the sex offender registries of all 50 states.

Sexual This site allows citizens to share information they have about criminal sex offenders, exchange resource links, and post comments in a blog style community.

Family Watchdog This site allows visitors to enter an address into a field and a map of nearby registered sex offenders will be displayed.

Administration of Children & Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains the Child Welfare Information Gateway includes information on mandatory reporting along with specific state laws

The Cybertipline or 1.800.843.5678 is an online and phone service which accepts leads regarding Internet criminal activity which are forwarded to law enforcement for review. Operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other state and law enforcement agencies

For reporting child pornography outside of the U.S., INHOPE: International Association of Internet Hotlines includes an international directory of resources for reporting concerning online content

To read the specific mandatory reporting statute for your state, consult the Child Welfare Information Gateway searchable database of statutes.

Checklist of warning signs and red flags that you’re in an abusive relationship. (YWCA)

Emotional Abuse In-depth discussion of emotional abuse, including types of emotional abuse and signs of abusive, authority-based relationships. (

Breaking the Silence Handbook Guide to domestic violence including spotting the signs and where to turn for help. (Nebraska Health and Human Services)

National Network to End Domestic Violence represents the 56 U.S. state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The Problem Describes the problem of battering and signs of domestic violence. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Intimate Partner Abuse Against Men Learn about domestic violence against men, including homosexual partner abuse, sexual abuse of boys and male teenagers, and abuse by wives or partners. (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Canada)

Dating Violence Guide to teen dating violence, including early warning signs that your boyfriend or girlfriend may become abusive. (The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Teens: Love Doesn’t Have To Hurt A teen-friendly guide to what abuse looks like in dating relationships and how to do something about it. (American Psychological Association)

Domestic Violence in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Relationships Learn about the unique problems victims of same-sex abuse face, and how to get help. (LAMBDA)

Information for Immigrants Domestic violence resources for immigrant women. Also available en Español. (Women’s Law Initiative)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) – A crisis intervention and referral phone line for domestic violence. (Texas Council on Family Violence)

State Coalition List Directory of state offices that can help you find local support, shelter, and free or low-cost legal services. Includes all U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women Specializing in providing support to male victims of abuse. (DAHMV)

International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies list of helplines and crisis centers. (HotPeachPages)

Help for Victims, Family and Friends Where to find help if you or someone you know is being abused. (NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence)

Male Survivor provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.

Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE)

Tualatin OR, 97062



Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE) is a human rights organization that provides services, publications, and training to serve those who typically fall between the cracks of domestic violence services. These groups include straight men, gays and lesbians, teens, the elderly, and immigrants.

Tour a Domestic Violence Shelter Find out what you can expect at a typical refuge or shelter and hear personal experiences of what life there is like. (Safe Horizon)

Safety Planning Guidelines for how to safely leave an abusive relationship, what to do if you’ve filed a restraining order, and what to do once you’ve left the relationship. (Women’s Law Initiative)

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV is the voice of victims and survivors. We are the catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence. We do this by effecting public policy, increasing understanding of the impact of domestic violence, and providing programs and education that drive that change.

Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children & Families. Child Maltreatment 2013.

National Children’s Alliance 2013 and 2014 national statistics collected from Children’s Advocacy Center members and available on the NCA website :