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Domestic Violence


If a partner or someone else is hurting you, call a local shelter or crisis hot line. Also, tell your doctor or a nurse, social worker, or religious leader. Tell someone you trust about physical, sexual, or mental abuse. Violence at home tends to get worse over time. It may start or get worse during pregnancy.

Physical abuse can hurt your baby if you are pregnant. The blows can cause miscarriage or injuries to the fetus. Abuse can also result in a baby that weighs too little at birth, leading to lifelong health and learning problems.

  • No one deserves to be hurt or afraid. You may feel alone and trapped, with no way out. But there is help. There are choices. There are things you can do.
  • Talk with someone at your local shelter or crisis hot line. Tell them what you are going through. They can also help you plan where to go and how to get there if you need to leave home quickly.
  • Talk with someone at your doctor's office or clinic. A social worker or nurse can help you make an emergency plan and help you find support services, such as crisis hot lines, domestic violence programs, legal aid services, or counseling.
  • Have a code word or signal for your friends and neighbors. That way they will know when to call the police for you.
  • Pack a bag with clothes for you and your children, a toy, your important papers (birth and shot records, photos, ID cards, driver's license, etc.), an extra set of keys, extra checks, copies of health insurance cards, some quarters and paper money. Store it at a neighbor's house.
  • Save some money if you can and set up a separate bank account in your name only.
  • Don't tell your partner about your plan.