BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Domestic violence can happen to anyone, but there are resources to help anyone who might be affected, resources to help and get out of the abusive relationship.
Intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, is said to be difficult to see, but the U.S. Department of Health says it can include forced sex, physical abuse, emotional abuse- such as cruel words or threats.
It can happen between married people, to a couple who lives separately, or intimate partners, but is never acceptable.
But how can someone tell if they are being abused? The U.S. Department of Health says it could be anything from your partner controlling your food, clothing, actions, sexual actions, where you eat, where you spend money, threatening you, anything that makes you feel unsafe in a relationship.
If you are ever in immediate danger, the USDH urges you to call 911 immediately.
If you are not, they offer these resources:
Get medical care.
If you have been injured or sexually assaulted, go to a local hospital emergency room or urgent care center immediately.
Call a helpline for free, anonymous help.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224.
The hotline offers help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can give victims resources such as local domestic violence shelters.
Make a safety plan to leave.
Domestic violence does not usually get better. If it is just you, or you and your children, make an exit strategy for where you can go or other things needed to leave your abusive partner.
Save evidence of the abuse.
The USDH says to keep evidence of your abuser’s actions, such as pictures of injuries or threatening emails and texts, somewhere the abuser cannot access.
But where can I go in the Baltimore-area for help?
For a map list of domestic violence shelters and programs, click here.
The shelters are meant to be a temporary refuge for victims of intimate partner violence and their children who may be in immediate danger or risk of homicide.
One example is the House of Ruth Maryland, an 84-bed shelter that helps women specifically begin recovery from the trauma of their partner’s violence and to rebuild their lives.