Local And National Resources For Victims Of Domestic Violence

You’ve told yourself that they’d never hurt you. You’ve told yourself it only happened once, and it wouldn’t happen again. You’ve covered your bruises, and you’ve gone out into the world trying to reassure yourself more than anyone else, that everything is perfect, and everything is fine.

Love can be hard, but it shouldn’t be dangerous. Domestic violence is something that far too many people know far too well. While looking in from the outside, it’s hard for people to understand why they don’t just leave these situations as soon as they start. Being the one inside the relationship, it’s hard to leave these situations in general.

If you’re a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to know that you don’t have to fight this battle alone. Resources for victims are popping up around the nation in hopes of stopping domestic violence in its tracks.

Domestic violence can cause both physical and emotional pain. If you’re looking to leave a tumultuous relationship, that’s one of the biggest steps to living a healthier life (and we’re so proud of you for acknowledging this!).

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: Safety Planning

If you’re unsure of where to turn, one of the first steps you could take is to call or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which provides toll-free call assistance, and even virtual live chats on their website. It is important to remember that if you are afraid of having your computer usage monitored, to try and find a secure place to visit the website, or call the hotline where they can provide you with a confidential outlet.

The hotline is well known for making “safety plans” for those who call them. This safety plan is a way to stay safe during or after leaving a dangerous relationship. They stress the importance of the safety plans to keep you safe in case your brain and body don't work the way you’d want them to during a time of trauma.

Penn State: Centre County Women’s Resource Center and Penn State Legal Services

If you’re looking for support on a local level, the Penn State community offers outlets for protection and legal assistance. The Centre County Women’s Resource Center provides both students and non-students of all genders and sexual identities with a 24-hour hotline, an emergency shelter, counseling, support groups, transitional housing, legal representation, and even a child access center which allows monitored custody exchanges and supervised visitations.

The Penn State community on campus also offers services specifically for victims, whether they are a student, employee or visitor. Victim Resource Officers are available to provide you with a safe haven to turn to. These officers are meant to act as a mediator and to guide you with the information you need to protect yourself. Victim Services offer consultation, crisis intervention, and explanation of court proceedings and can even notify professors of your absence being excused.

Abuse knows no boundaries and people of all ages, genders, races, or sexual identity can be victims of this violence. If a partner, family member or friend commits a physical or verbal abusive offense towards you, please consider leaving the situation and getting help before it escalates. The first step to getting help is to understand that this is not your fault. Getting help is terrifying, but you are deserving of living a life full of true love and no fear of the aggressions of another.

To contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website from a secure location at http://www.thehotline.org/. To contact the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, call 1-877-234-5050 or visit their website at http://ccwrc.org/.