Violence and Abuse

Things You Can Do

Protect Yourself

  • If you are scared, talk to the police now.
  • Keep emergency numbers next to your telephone.
  • Lock your windows and doors. Give the key only to those you trust.
  • Carry a whistle to use when you are in trouble.
  • If you need a restraining order, call National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Work to Prevent Violence

  • Set an example—solve problems in nonviolent ways.
  • Remember, it’s safer not to have a gun. But if you do have one, keep the gun unloaded and locked in one place and the ammunition locked in another. Be sure to keep a safety lock on the gun.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Ask police about crime watch programs. Call National Crime Prevention Council. Visit

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes are crimes based on prejudice. Many groups have been targets of hate crimes because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, nationality or religion. To report a hate crime, call 9-1-1 or your local police. Visit

If You Are Attacked

  • If you have been assaulted or raped, get help. You should not be alone. Go to a safe place—a friend’s house or a shop you know. Call 9-1-1 or ask someone nearby to call.
  • The effects of abuse can last a long time. Get help no matter how long it has been. Call Rape and Sexual Assault, National Sexual Assault Hotline or National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Victim services offer counseling and help you work with the police and courts. Call Victim Resource Line.