Domestic Violence

What Can You Do? | Local Resources | National Resources

Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, cultures, incomes groups, ages, and religions. They may share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.

Are You Abused?

Does the Person You Love...

  • Keep track of all of your time?
  • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
  • Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Criticize you for little things?
  • Anger easily when drinking or using other drugs?
  • Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
  • Humiliate you in front of others?
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
  • Threaten to hurt you or the children?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?

If you find yourself saying yes to any of these - it's time to get help.

Don't Ignore the Problem

  • Talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor, or call a domestic violence hotline to talk to a counselor
  • Plan ahead and know what you will do if you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go, set aside some money, and put important papers - marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks - in a place where you can get them quickly
  • Start planning for the future and setting goals

If You Are Hurt, What Can You Do?

There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Call the police. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence
  • Leave, or have someone come and stay with you. Go to a battered women's shelter - call a crisis hotline in your community or a health center to locate a shelter. If you believe that you, and your children, are in danger - leave immediately
  • Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action
  • Contact your family court for information about a civil protection order that does not involve criminal charges or penalties

Have You Hurt Someone In Your Family?

  • Be aware that you break the law when you physically hurt someone
  • Take responsibility for your actions and get help
  • When you feel tension building, get away. Work off the angry energy through a walk, a project, a sport
  • Call a domestic violence hotline or health center and ask about counseling and support groups for people who batter

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Local Resources

The St Joseph County Family Violence/Special Victims Unit | (574) 235-7818

Location: 533 N. Niles Ave. South Bend, Indiana 46617
Hours:  8:00 - 4:30, Monday – Friday

The Special Victims Unit, a multi-jurisdictional unit made up of investigators from the South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County Police Departments. The SVU is an investigative branch of the St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office, part of a multi-disciplinary team in partnership with the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County and the CASIE Center. SVU is committed to serving families of St. Joseph County who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or child physical or sexual abuse.

The SVU office is committed to serving St. Joseph County families who have experienced any type of domestic abuse. In an effort to fulfill this commitment, the Special Victims Unit offers the following services free of charge:

  • Assistance in filling out paperwork for protective orders.
  • 911 cellular phones
  • Individual case management/advocacy and referrals

You do not deserve to be hit, threatened, or sexually assaulted. Do not suffer alone. Please call 574-235-7818 if you are interested in any of these services.

YWCA HELP | YWCA of St Joseph County | (574) 233-9491

Women’s Shelter Phone: (574) 232-9558
Location: 1102 Fellows St. South Bend, IN 46601

The YWCA of St. Joseph County is accredited by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Indiana Family and Social Service Administration for their residential and non-residential bilingual services for women and children escaping abusive relationships, including:

  • Safe Crisis Housing/Shelter
  • Safety Planning
  • Lethality Assessments
  • Food, Clothing, and Personal Necessities
  • Case Management
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Violence Support Groups
  • Sexual Assault Counseling
  • Counseling and Case Management for Children
  • Childcare During Programming
  • Advocacy and Referrals
  • Access to Healthcare Services
  • Transitional Housing (for up to two years)
  • Outreach Domestic Violence and Dating Violence
  • Education Non-Residential Services for Male Victims of Domestic Violence

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence | 1-800-332-7385

The ICADV works for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence—until the violence ends.

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National Resources

Domestic Violence Hotline | 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services. If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence | 1-800-537-2238

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is a comprehensive source of information for those wanting to educate themselves and help others on the many issues related to domestic violence.

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