If you need help, contact your local domestic violence program or call a confidential domestic violence hotline.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline, call, chat, or text, 24 hours everyday, 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY)
- Teen Dating Violence Hotline, LoveIsRespect.org, call, chat, or text, 24 hours everyday, 866-331-9474
- The StrongHearts Native Helpline, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday, 844-762-8483
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline Deaf Services, 855-812-1001(videophone) or 800-787-3224 (TTY) anytime, and live chat every day 7:00 am – 2:00 am
- King/Snohomish/Pierce County Deaf Hotline, 24 hours everyday, 206-812-1001 (videophone)
What to expect if you call a hotline
- Direct connection to the domestic violence program near you.
- Help to find resources in your area including safe shelter, advocacy, counseling, and legal assistance.
- Crisis assistance, emotional support, and safety planning.
- Access to hotline advocates in 170 languages through interpreter services.
What to expect if you call a program
- A caring listening ear. All programs have people who can listen and help you sort out options.
- Advocacy services. Most programs have specially trained advocates who can help with public benefits, housing, disability services, immigration, employment protections, and more.
- Emergency shelter. Many programs offer shelter or other emergency housing solutions. Some programs have longer term housing for survivors and programs to support survivors to find safe, permanent housing.
- Support groups. Some programs run groups for children, youth, and adults.
- Legal advocacy. Most programs offer information about protective orders and other civil matters. Most do not provide legal counsel, but can refer you to free or low cost attorneys.
- Crisis services. Many programs offer 24-hour crisis services.
What to expect if you go to a shelter
Every shelter is different, but usually you can expect that:
- Shelters are free—no fees are charged to stay.
- Most shelters have shared kitchens, common areas, and bathrooms.
- If you have children, you will probably all share one bedroom.
- If you are alone, you may have to share a room.
- You are responsible for taking care of your own children.
- All shelters must welcome service animals. However, most shelters cannot accommodate pets. They will work with you to make arrangements to have your pets cared for elsewhere.
- Shelters have laundry facilities and supply linens (sheets, towels and blankets).
- They usually have emergency food, clothing, and toiletries available for the first few days of a stay.
- Shelters can be stressful—this is group living with others who are experiencing tough times.
- You will be asked to honor the privacy of other residents by not discussing their names or situations with anyone else.
- Shelters are concerned about everybody’s safety, so you may be asked to keep the location a secret.
- Visitors are generally not allowed.
- Some shelters have computers you can use to check your email and access online resources.
- Some shelters offer free cell phones for 911 calls only.
What to expect if you call a legal advocate
When you talk to a legal advocate, you can expect that:
- Services are offered free of charge.
- Legal advocates are not attorneys and will be unable to give legal advice.
- Advocates can offer a range of services that might include:
- Accompanying you to court
- Helping you fill out paperwork
- Helping you understand the civil or criminal process
- Outlining or prioritizing the legal options that are available
- Informing you about what actually goes on in court
- Preparing you for a hearing or trial, and giving support before, during, and after
- Referring you to low or no-cost lawyers