Needing to talk
Joann felt overwhelmed. Her partner had never hurt her physically, but he was too controlling. He limited her access to money, pushed her friends and family away, and frequently told Joann she was crazy.
She wanted to talk with someone, to have someone listen to her concerns. But, Joann felt too embarrassed to bring it up to her sister or the friends she rarely saw, so she called LifeWire.
Survivors often reach out for help finding housing, navigating the legal system, or making a safety plan. But often, they’re also looking for someone to listen. Domestic violence (DV) advocates offer survivors emotional support, providing them with a safe space to share their anxieties, frustrations, or fears so they can better care for themselves.
Survivors, especially those from marginalized or smaller communities, don’t always feel safe sharing their concerns with family or friends. Or like Joann, they may be isolated from their support networks. They may be afraid that someone will slip and let their abusive partner know they plan on leaving. Or they may worry that they’ll be blamed for the abuse or shamed into staying.
Getting emotional support
Emotional support for survivors of domestic violence looks different for everyone. It can be having someone on the other end of the phone listen while unloading their fears about leaving or feeling overwhelmed by paperwork and having someone sit with them while they go page by page filling out forms. Or having someone to celebrate with after they finally move into their own apartment. DV advocates don’t tell survivors what to do. Instead, they help survivors talk through their thoughts and emotions so they can make the best decisions for themselves.
After connecting with her DV advocate, Joann felt like she had her own personal cheerleader. Someone she could talk to whenever she felt anxious and needed to sort through her feelings.