Violence and Abuse

Violence and abuse in our homes and communities are serious problems. Abuse can be physical, when someone hurts your body. It can also be verbal or emotional—threats and cruel talk are abuse, too. No one, not even a family member, has the right to be violent or abusive. It’s against the law. Don’t keep it a secret. Talk to someone you trust and get help.

Get help, too, if you are the one who is violent or abusive. Change is possible, but you can’t do it alone. Act now, before you ruin someone else’s life and your own.

Violence and Abuse at Home
Violence and Abuse at Home
If you are a victim, don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault. But you do need to protect yourself and your family from further harm. Try to set aside clothes and money for you and your children. You may need to leave in a hurry. To find a safe place to stay with your children and to get legal help, call Child Abuse and Family Violence or National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Signs of Child Abuse

Watch for these signs. They could indicate child abuse.

  • Unexplained bruises or marks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unexplained pain, swelling or bleeding in the mouth or genitals
  • Acting unusually frightened, sad or withdrawn
  • Acting unusually violent or aggressive
  • Copying adult sexual behavior
  • No interest in school or other activities

Child Abuse

Most child abuse is done by family members. If you suspect abuse, get help right away. Teach children to tell you if something bad happens to them. Take it seriously and report it. Call Child Abuse Hotline or Child Abuse and Family Violence. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

If You Get Abusive

Violence is never okay. But there are reasons why people get violent—social problems like unemployment and racism, and personal problems like drug abuse or growing up in an abusive home. Support groups or counseling can help. Call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

Learn More

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

  • Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
    Watch out if someone close to you:
    • Is very jealous
    • Expects you to be perfect
    • Cuts you off from family and friends
    • Blames others for problems
    • Is cruel to children or animals
    • Breaks or hits things
    • Uses physical force in sex
    • Disrespects you
    • Has sudden mood changes
    • Abuses alcohol or drugs
    • Was an abused or neglected child preschool, call Child Care Connection.

    If you checked three Yes answers, someone you love may be abusive and in need of help. Call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).