Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with, which can cause them to act out with violence.
Physical abuse includes hitting, pushing, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, choking, strangling, and burning. Physical abuse may come from a stranger, an acquaintance, or a close friend or family member. Many victims of abuse know their attacker.
Violent behavior can also hurt you emotionally. You may feel sad or frightened. Feelings of guilt may prevent you from getting help. But it is important for you to seek help and continue to get help for yourself as long as you need it. Talk to your local child or adult protective agency, the police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor. You can also call a local mental health clinic. Any of these people can help you deal with your feelings, get medical treatment if needed, and take steps to stop the abuser.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor or get other help.
If you feel threatened, you must have a plan for dealing with a threatening situation. If a family member or someone else has threatened to harm you or your child, seek help:
If you are no longer living with a violent person, contact the police to obtain a restraining order if your abuser continues to pursue you and act violently toward you.
Here are some things you can do to help a friend or family member.
The most important step is to help your friend contact local domestic violence groups. There are programs across the country that provide options for safety, legal support, support, and needed information and services. To find the nearest program:
The most dangerous time for your friend may be when she or he is leaving the abusive relationship, so any advice about leaving must be informed and practical.
Violence is learned behavior, so it is especially important to help your children learn that violence is not a healthy way to resolve conflict. Living in a violent environment increases your child's chances of developing behavior problems, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, poor school achievement, and lowered expectations for the future. People who are maltreated as children are more likely to abuse others. If you were ever abused, it is very important to get treatment so that you learn different ways to resolve conflict and use appropriate discipline.
If you have been a victim of abuse and continue to have problems related to the abuse, you may experience mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information, see the topics Depression, Anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
If violence occurs again, call your doctor to decide if and when you need to see your doctor or get other help.
Prevent violence in your home.
Keep yourself safe from violence.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
If you have made an appointment with your health professional, you may be able to get the most from your visit by being prepared to answer the following questions:
If you need immediate help, call 911.
Another resource for help is the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE, 1-800-799-7233) or see the website at www.ndvh.org for free, confidential counseling and information about local community resources.
|National Domestic Violence Hotline|
|Email:||email@example.com (email is not confidential or secure)|
The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers crisis intervention, information about domestic violence, and referrals to local service providers for victims of domestic violence (men, women, and teens) and those calling on their behalf. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English, Spanish, and other languages. The hotline connects callers to more than 4,000 shelters and service providers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||December 23, 2011|
Last Revised: December 23, 2011
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