If you're experiencing abuse and need help now, one place to start is the national domestic violence hotline.
Call 800-799-7233 (TTY 800-787-3224), text "START" to 88788, or visit www.thehotline.org
Domestic violence is too big for any one of us to solve, but all of us can work for change.
In popular culture, we recognize domestic violence if it is severe or physical. Unhealthy behaviors that don't fit that mold are often ignored, or even romanticized. A few examples:
It's common in romantic comedies for one main character to keep pursuing someone who said "No." In the movies, this often leads to love, but in real life, it can be dangerous and scary.
In many areas of popular culture, we equate love with sacrifice and pain. But real love builds you up; it doesn’t break you down. Of course heartbreak hurts—but love shouldn’t.
A whirlwind romance is often presented as a fairy tale—but if someone "love bombs" you, with intense adoration before knowing you, that can be a red flag for future abuse.
The idea that love means "possessing" someone else is tied to our culture accepting dominance as normal. Healthy relationships have room for independence.
All of us need a roof over our heads. For survivors, that can mean staying in an abusive relationship just to keep themselves and their children housed. Access to safe, affordable housing is critical for families’ health and preventing domestic violence.
Learn about organizations that are working on the connections between housing, financial security and domestic violence:
California dedicated NO new funds toward preventing domestic violence in 2022. Your voice matters, and decision-makers care what you think.
Ask your elected representatives what they are doing to end domestic violence. Find your California state representatives here:
Understanding of domestic violence is growing—two thirds of Californians realize that domestic violence needs to be discussed and addressed at a societal level. But, there is still room to improve: one third of Californians in a recent survey felt it was a private family matter, or weren’t sure.
The root causes of domestic violence go far beyond any individual family, so we need to change how we talk about it: openly, with compassion, and an understanding of its scale.
Whether it’s starting a conversation with your own family around the kitchen table, or spreading the word on your social media, the more that we all bring the issue of domestic violence into the light, the better we can address it. Each of us can play a role in creating healthy conversations around domestic violence: where survivors can come forward without shame or fear, where families can heal, and where the cycle can be broken.