At Crisis Text Line, we say that anything that is a crisis to you is a crisis for us. This means that we’re helping people all across the country process their crises—however they define them—24/7. This also means that although we’re living in a world where every day and month is dedicated to additional time and care around different lived experiences, we know that trauma and pain happen hear round.
This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At Crisis Text Line, we define Domestic Violence (DV) as physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm from a spouse or intimate partner. Because it often happens in private, it can be hard to spot, even for survivors. So, we’re highlighting a few things you should know if you or someone you know is a domestic violence survivor.
Here are four things you should know for Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
- It’s not your fault. There is no excuse for anyone causing intentional physical harm. Period. Your body should be your safe zone. And, if anyone threatens your safety, it is not your fault. You hear? We’ll say it a little louder to let that sink in. It is never, ever your fault.
- You are not alone. According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. In short, it affects everyone—no matter gender, race, class, or sexual orientation. While it can be overwhelming to think about the magnitude of the problem, know that there are so many people who understand the pain you’re experiencing. We’re all about empathy around here. One of the best ways to build empathy is by understanding a shared problem so that we can best help each other.
- There are kind people everywhere ready to help you. In a crisis, you can always text 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. They’re Empathy MVPs around here, are ready to listen, and help you find safety. If you’ve been through trauma like domestic violence, you may also benefit from long-term care. We’ve rounded up some of the best resources to help people for the long haul. Take a look at our referral bank here. (ICYMI: We’ve got a pretty good track record with this. We totally have your back.)
- Progress isn’t linear. Just like things don’t fall apart overnight, it takes time to recover to. The pros say people can experience the devastating mental health effects of sexual abuse weeks, months, and even years later. Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to recover. We’ll be here. Always.
Above all, the most important thing you should know is that you are so brave. Just living through this is a sign of your strength, perseverance, and light in this world. You got this. And, we believe in you. It gets better.