You’re not alone. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. It is not your fault. Abuse comes in many forms in family and intimate relationships. Physical violence, verbal abuse, sexual assualt, and continued intimidation and degrading are all examples of abuse. Experiencing domestic violence later in life can be complicated—but there is help available and there is life after abuse.
How Do I Know If It Is Abuse?
* If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you are likely experiencing
abuse: (please note: this quiz is for informational and educational purposes
only and does not replace getting help and assistance from a professional)
Have you been hurt by anyone at home?
Are you being repeatedly verbally abused by someone at home?
Has anyone intentionally refused to give you your medication or given you too much or too little?
Has anyone ever convinced you to sign documents that you didn't understand or didn't want to sign?
Are you afraid of anyone at home?
Has anyone intentionally taken or broken something you need to be independent such as your cane, walker, or wheelchair?
Has anyone ever refused to help you take care of yourself when you needed help?
* adapted from the American Medical Association's publication "Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines on Adult Abuse and Neglect"
You can become safe and free from the abuse you are experiencing.
Listed below are resources to help you break free from the violence and abuse and take back your life.
Contact a hotline and talk to someone.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
- In Virginia, The Action Alliance operates the statewide Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-838-8238 v/tty), a toll-free, confidential, 24-hour service that provides crisis intervention, support, information, and local program referrals to family violence and sexual assault survivors, their friends and families, professionals, and the general public. Website: www.vsdvalliance.org.
- Outside Virginia, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233) or 800-787-3224 (TTY). Website: www.ndvh.org.
Start planning for your safety.
- Safety Planning for Older Persons: A tip sheet that includes steps the people can take to start to plan for their safety.
- Safety Planning for People with Disabilities: This information highlights the special concerns for people with disabilities and/or mobility problems.
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