Getting Help With Domestic Violence: Resources and Organizations Guide

Those experiencing domestic violence may need immediate legal help and social services. They may also need financial assistance, help with child custody matters, and other legal issues. Several sexual assault and domestic violence organizations across the country can help with advocacy and support.

Attention: If you are in an abusive relationship or need immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

This article provides information on various domestic violence resources. It contains links to government and nonprofit agencies, hotlines, and legal advocacy groups offering domestic abuse help. It also covers the first steps for a crisis, how to find information specific to your state, and getting help from an attorney.

Domestic Violence: The Problem

Intimate partner abuse is more widespread than people realize. According to statistics assembled by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and other advocacy groups:

  • One in four women have experienced severe intimate partner abuse.
  • One in nine men have experienced severe intimate partner abuse.
  • One in three women suffered intimate partner violence, such as pushing, shoving, or slapping.
  • One in four men have suffered intimate partner violence, such as pushing, shoving, or slapping.

First Steps for a Domestic Violence Crisis

If you are in immediate danger, leave your home and call 911. You should only use the following information after reaching a safe place. This information is not intended to replace the services of police, fire, EMS, or other first responders in an emergency.

Making a call for help is frightening for survivors of domestic violence. An excellent first step is calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or TTY at 1-800-787-3224. This is a 24-hour hotline with state and national referrals for legal resources, service providers, and immediate help in your area.

Your next step is safety planning. Abusers get away with their abuse because their victims often have nowhere safe to go. The national or local hotline can put you in touch with a domestic violence shelter or other location where you can consider your next steps.

Legal services are expensive. You should contact the family court in your area for a referral to legal aid and low-income services if necessary. The court system has divisions for domestic violence cases and can tell you the best way to proceed. Family law attorneys are a good resource for domestic violence victims.

You may be reluctant to call the police. Sometimes domestic violence victims are scared to contact law enforcement. Still, it can be a good source of help and inform victims on how to get a protective/restraining order or where to go for help locally.

Many police departments now use lethality screening tools to help determine the threat level at the time of the incident. This helps police help the victim and gather information for any potential criminal charges.

If necessary, 9-1-1 or law enforcement can help you find a shelter and contact other domestic violence help providers.

State-Specific Domestic Violence Information and Resources

An important way you can protect yourself from further abuse is to file for a protective order, or restraining order. This prohibits the abuser from making contact with you or family members living with you. It can also grant exclusive use of a home and issue custody, visitation, and child support court orders.

FindLaw's Domestic Violence State Forms page provides links to each state's protective order forms. Complete the form, give it to your lawyer, or file it with the court.

Every state has an agency and a court that handles domestic violence issues. Find agencies, advocacy groups, and legal information for your state on FindLaw's Domestic Violence Information by State page.

You also may want to get acquainted with your state's domestic violence laws.

Domestic Violence Organizations and Hotlines

Domestic violence organizations empower victims when they are most vulnerable. They seek to stop abuse by spreading awareness and helping survivors. Some organizations offer targeted resources to specific communities, including:

  • African American people
  • Latino or Latina people
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Asian American people
  • LGBTQ+ people
  • Young people
  • Elderly people
  • People with disabilities

Some helplines can help in Spanish, Mandarin/Cantonese, Russian, and other languages. They also give referrals to other resource centers where necessary.

Domestic violence organizations also help with other family law-related matters, such as:

  • Sexual assault, harassment, and stalking
  • Child custody, child support, and divorce
  • LGBTQ+ and transgender legal information
  • Immigration and sexual trafficking

See below for a list of domestic violence organizations and hotlines.


This organization offers a confidential helpline and referrals to services for intimate partner violence and other domestic abuse. Service referrals include help with direct needs, shelter, protective orders, and legal help. It offers bi-lingual services. Advocates speak English, Spanish, and Russian.

PO Box 1099, Holyoke, MA 01041-1099; Hotline: 1-877-536-1628

American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence

The Commission addresses domestic violence and sexual assault from a legal perspective. It seeks to increase access to justice for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

1050 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036; USA Phone: 202-662-1000

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence

The Institute is a national resource center on gender violence in Asian & Pacific Islander communities. It includes resources focused on domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking.

500 12th Street, Suite 330, Oakland, CA 94607; Phone: 415-568-3315

Battered Women's Justice Project

BWJP offers domestic violence-related training, technical assistance, and consultation to those working in the criminal and civil justice system. It analyzes and advocates for effective policing, prosecuting, sentencing, and monitoring of domestic violence perpetrators.

540 Fairview Avenue N, Suite 208, St. Paul, MN 55104; Phone: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 1 (TTY Callers use 711)

Child Welfare League of America

CWLA is a coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving at-risk children and families. It advances policies and strategies that promote safe, stable families. It also assists children and adults whose families aren't yet safe and stable. It promotes initiatives related to human services, foster care, and mental health.

727 15th Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington DC, 20005; Phone: 202-688-4200; Fax: 202-833-1689

Esperanza United

This organization mobilizes Latinas and Latin@ communities to recognize and end gender-based violence. It seeks to create communities based on honor and respect. It provides family advocacy, community education, training, and technical assistance services.

PO Box 40115, St. Paul, MN 55104; Phone: 651-646-5553; 24-hour MN Crisis line: 651-772-1611 (bilingual)

Futures Without Violence

This nonprofit advances the health care, stability, education, and security of women, men, girls, and boys worldwide. The organization helped get the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed in 1994. It continues to work with policymakers and train professionals to improve responses to family violence. Futures teaches people the importance of healthy relationships. It hosts the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence. It supports efforts to improve health care responses to domestic violence.

100 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129; Phone: 415-678-5500; Fax: 415-529-2930; TTY: 866-678-8901

Jewish Women International

JWI provides programs, advocacy, and philanthropy. Its goal is to protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safety. This includes safety in homes and healthy relationships.

1333 New Hampshire Avenue NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20036; Phone: 202-857-1300

Legal Momentum's Immigrant Women Program

This program raises public awareness of challenges facing immigrant women. It works with federal agencies and Congress to develop better policies. It trains advocates, service providers, and law enforcement on the rights of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; USA Phone: 212-925-6635

Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

LSC is a non-profit legal services organization. It provides civil legal assistance to low-income persons in the court system. It provides grants to 132 local legal aid nonprofit groups around the country. LSC provides legal advice and services in family law cases. It can assist survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. This includes legal representation for low-income persons in court. They can help with protective orders, motions seeking safety in child custody cases, and other matters related to divorce and legal separation.

3333 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007; Phone: 202-295-1500

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The Coalition advocates for major societal changes that will end both personal and social violence for all people. It builds coalitions and supports shelter programs. It provides public education and develops policies and legislation. The Coalition hosts a national conference and advocacy webinars. It sponsors a speakers' bureau and programs on memorializing the names of victims of crime, financial education, and healthy relationships.

600 Grant Street, Suite 750, Denver, CO 80203; Contact:; If in crisis or need emergency help, contact the hotline at 1-800-799-7233

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The Council advances social change in courts nationwide. It provides training, technical assistance, and policy development on issues related to the effects of abuse across a lifespan. The Council works on projects to enhance the safety, well-being, and stability of domestic violence survivors and their children. It aims to improve the response of criminal, civil, and social justice systems.

P.O. Box 8970, Reno, NV 89507; USA Phone: 775-507-4777

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The Hotline provides 24-hour support and crisis intervention to survivors of domestic violence. It does this through safety planning, advocacy, resources, and referrals to local social services and advocacy organizations. It also provides services related to teen dating violence. It hosts a link to the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (

P.O. Box 90249, Austin, TX 78709; USA Phone Toll Free: 1-800-799-SAFE or TTY 1-800-787-3224; Teen Dating Violence Helpline: 1-866-331-9474

National Indigenous Women's Resource Center

The Center seeks to end violence against Native women and children in tribal communities. It is a Native-led nonprofit organization that works to develop culturally grounded resources. It sponsors training for advocates and survivors of domestic abuse.

515 Lame Deer Avenue, Lame Deer, MT 59043; Phone: 406-477-3896; Toll-Free: 855-649-7299

National Network to End Domestic Violence

NNEDV works as an advocacy organization for state, territorial, and allied organizations. It addresses the needs of domestic violence victims and fosters an environment for violence against women to no longer exist. NNEDV provides domestic violence programs, initiatives, and technical assistance to improve domestic violence services at every level. It also hosts the legal information website.

1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005-4188; Phone: 202-543-5566

Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse

The Network engages in efforts to end violence and abuse in the LGBT community. It works to build loving and equitable relationships in LGBT families across the country.

P.O. Box 18436, Seattle, WA 98118; Phone: 206-568-7777; TTY: 206-517-9670; Fax: 206-325-2601;

Ujima - National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community

Ujima provides education and outreach for domestic violence victims in the Black community. It can assist with training related to domestic violence services and more.

Washington, DC; Phone: 1-844-77-UJIMA; Email:


ValorUS was originally founded in 1980 as the California State Coalition of Rape Crisis Centers. It became the statewide California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA). It provides a unified voice from sexual abuse survivors. It advocates for system change and other initiatives to end sexual violence.

1215 K. St., Suite 1850 Esquire Plaza, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: 916-446-2520; Fax: 916-313-3742

Domestic Violence Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FindLaw's Frequently Asked Questions page answers many questions about domestic violence, reporting, and getting legal advice. Learn what domestic violence is, where to get help, how to file a court case, and other information.

Get Help With Domestic Violence Today

The domestic violence resources and organizations above can help you stop domestic violence. They can provide the right resources to help you break the cycle of abuse and restart your life.

In some instances, you may need to testify against your abuser or otherwise deal with the courts. This is especially true if child custody is involved. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate this process and advocate for your safety. 

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Victims of domestic violence can press charges against their abuser
  • The ability or requirements to press charges varies in each state
  • Contacting a family law attorney or advocacy groups for advice is essential

Some attorneys represent victims of domestic violence. Others defend the rights of those accused of domestic abuse or other related crimes. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

Find a local attorney