Finding help in a domestic violence situation

Finding help in a domestic violence situation.

There is not a right or wrong way to feel when you have experienced domestic violence. Nor is there one set of services that work for every survivor. If you are not sure if the situation you are experiencing is abuse, you can read the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s definition here.

If you or someone you know needs help with a domestic violence situation, ICADV can offer referrals to both residential and non-residential domestic violence programs and services in your area.

Local sexual and domestic violence programs provide an array of services. While not every program offers the same exact thing, every program is committed to providing quality, culturally-relevant, community-based services for survivors, friends and family, and the broader community.

Regardless of your gender identity, sexual orientation, age or ability, our member programs will help you find safety and determine what is best for you and your family.

What to expect when you call a program

ICADV has 50 domestic violence-specific member programs that serve communities across Indiana. Domestic violence programs offer free and confidential counseling and advocacy. All programs have trained advocates who can talk with you about your situation, your safety and your options.

They can also help you identify and obtain housing, legal and medical support as well as shelters, services and other resources for you and your children. Programs can also help family members, friends, and colleagues with concerns.

  • Safety planning: If you are in immediate danger or are thinking about leaving the relationship, hotline advocates can talk through a safety plan with you over the phone.
  • Information about your rights: You may have questions about whether you have to notify the police or your school. You may have questions about moving out of state, especially if you have children in common with the person abusing you. Advocates can help you find answers.
  • Advocacy services: All programs have trained advocates to help with common concerns including safety, health, family and children services, social assistance programs, immigration, housing, legal issues, medical issues and more.
  • Referrals to programs: Advocates can help you find the kinds of services you or someone you care about need
  • Support groups for children, youth, and adults: Support groups can offer a chance to meet others who have had similar experiences and is an important part of healing.
  • Legal advocacy: You may have questions about restraining orders, criminal or civil matters, or how to keep your children safe. All programs can provide assistance in obtaining a protective order. An Advocate can connect you to ICADV’s satellite attorney program, which offers survivors access to low cost or free legal help, including help with immigration cases
  • Emergency shelter: Residential programs offer temporary shelter or safe homes.
  • Transitional housing: Some programs have longer-term housing for victims and survivors, such as apartments.
  • Economic assistance: Recognizing that most survivors struggle to regain financial independence after an abusive situation, your advocate can help you apply for funds to help with education costs, debt repayment and more

You can find a program in your community by clicking here, or calling ICADV’s 24-hour Statewide Hotline at 1.800.332.7385.

Addressing survivors’ key needs in the community:

“Shelter matters.  But you can’t stay there forever.  It’s very, it’s like jumping off a cliff, I think, to go from a women’s shelter, then where do you go?”

“As a single woman, it’s particularly hard to earn a living wage. Especially if you are experiencing violence. I could go to a shelter, and they would provide me with 6 weeks of help, but what do I do then—because I don’t earn a living wage. I’m just going to have to become homeless again. I have to leave Indiana to move back to where I have a support network for the difficult times because there is no financial safety.”

– Words from Indiana survivors in the Re-Centering Report

At ICADV we recognize that the needs of survivors go beyond shelter and program support. In the Re-Centering report, we heard from people struggling from issues like financial insecurity, housing instability, childcare issues and neighborhood security, that hindered their path towards freedom.

If this sounds like something you, or someone you know, has experienced, there are options available to help. Along with the amazing people and advocates who work at our member programs, Connect2Help 211 is an important tool to find resources in your area.

What is 211?

2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need.

There is a common misconception that 211 is only a crisis line. In reality, Hoosiers can use 211 to 8,000 social service providers that provide around 22,000 services and programs. This can be anything from necessities like food, shelter and clothing, to assistance with utility payments, childcare assistance, or healthcare services, including mental health and substance abuse issues.

How to use 211’s referral services:

  1. By calling 211 (toll free, available 24/7)
  2. By texting your zip code to 898-211 (available 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday)
  3. Online at

Who can use 211?

Anyone in the state of Indiana who is in need of services, or who knows someone in need of services can use 211. Interpreters are available, and the website can easily be translated into any language available through Google Translate.

The hotline and website are also great resources for advocates or attorneys, or anyone who may be working with survivors and need help locating resources for them.

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