REACHING FAMILIES. RESTORING COMMUNITY. RENEWING MINDS.
If you're an immigrant, you may be hesitant to seek help out of fear that you will be deported. Language barriers, lack of economic independence and limited social support can increase your isolation and your ability to access resources.
Laws in the United States guarantee protection from domestic abuse, regardless of your immigrant status. Free or low-cost resources are available, including lawyers, shelter and medical care for you and your children. You may also be eligible for legal protections that allow immigrants who experience domestic violence to stay in the United States.
Call a national domestic violence hotline for guidance. These services are free and protect your privacy.
If you're an older woman, you may face challenges related to your age and the length of your relationship. You may have grown up in a time when domestic violence was simply not discussed. You or your partner may have health problems that increase your dependency or sense of responsibility.
If you're in a same-sex relationship, you might be less likely to seek help after an assault if you don't want to disclose your sexual orientation. If you've been sexually assaulted by another woman, you might also fear that you won't be believed.
Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action. Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, a loved one, a health care provider or another close contact. You can also call a national domestic violence hotline.
At first, you might find it hard to talk about the abuse. But understand that you are not alone and there are experts who can help you. You'll also likely feel relief and receive much-needed support.