Domestic violence can happen to anybody. It is defined as a pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner or household member. Usually people associate physical abuse with domestic violence; but the controlling behaviors can be verbal, psychological, financial, or emotional in nature. If you or someone you care about is in a difficult relationship, please explore the information in this section of the website or call AWARE at (517) 783-2861. We have trained advocates ready to hear from you anytime, 24-hours a day.
Domestic violence can take many different forms. It involves physical, verbal, emotional, mental, financial, and sexual abuse. At first, the control and manipulation your partner uses can be very subtle. Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions to determine if what you are experiencing is domestic violence:
Answering yes to any of the above questions may indicate that you are being abused. Abuse usually escalates over time. Call AWARE’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline anytime at (517) 783-2861 for immediate help.
For more information and other resources on domestic violence, see our Resources page.
Only you can decide whether it would be best for you to stay or leave your domestic violence situation. We encourage you to consider your safety first and foremost when choosing whether to remain in your home or seek shelter elsewhere. Although you can’t control your partner’s violence, you do have a choice about planning for safety. You can decide for yourself if and when you will tell others that you have been abused or that you are still at risk. Friends, family, and co-workers can help protect you if they know what is happening and what they can do to help.
If you decide to leave your situation, you will want to take certain items with you. Remember, your safety is top priority. If you need to leave without these items in order to be safe, do so. Some people give an extra copy of papers and an extra set of clothing to a friend just in case they have to leave quickly.
AWARE can be a place of refuge for you. Trained, compassionate staff provide confidential services for survivors of domestic, dating, and sexual violence, including:
When you call or come to AWARE, our staff will listen to whatever you want to share of your story. The healing process begins with one-on-one talks or small group discussions with a trained client advocate or counselor. We share expertise gained from working with thousands of survivors over thirty years of service to our community. You will be encouraged to set your own goals for the direction you want your future to unfold; our job is to support you using our empowerment philosophy. No matter what time of day or night, our 24-hour Crisis Hotline ((517)783-2861) is staffed to assist you in beginning your journey to safety.