Need Help?

If you don’t know who to call for help, please call the Coalition at 1-800-572-9196 or 605-391-6402 for referral and information about an advocacy program in your area or go to Crisis Lines

Your healing and regaining control over your body and life are the most important things. This takes time and the support and help of other who understand. You may know now or may not realize for weeks, months or even years, that you need help to heal. Do whatever you need to feel safe. Take the time you need. Find other women who have been through this for support - there are many.

Remember: We do not heal alone. Healing means regaining our balance physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This is our own personal journey, so we must be helpers choose we trust. Be kind to yourself.

Following are some options if your partner is choosing to:


  • If you know or feel your partner is going to become violent, don’t wait. Leave as soon as possible. Do not warn him you are leaving.
  • Call the police.
  • Be aware of objects in the house that could be used as weapons; be aware of the possible consequences for using a weapon in self-defense.
  • Identify ways of escaping and places to go ahead of time.
  • Teach the children to run to neighbors, friends or relatives, and call the police.
  • Tell neighbors or friends to call the police if they suspect or hear violence occurring.
  • Leave extra money, keys, clothes, and documents with relatives/friends or at the shelter.
  • Have an advocate help get a protection order and keep it with you all the time.
  • Seek medical attention especially if hit on the head or strangulation was attempted. Consider being checked for STDs.


  • Go to the shelter, friends or relatives if it is safe there.
  • Call the shelter, a friend or relative for support and help.
  • Find rides to visit others for support.
  • Make a connection with health and other service providers who might visit you in the home - if it is safe. If you believe he could become violent as a result of this visit, consider how you might make office visits.


  • Leave and go to a place that is safe and supportive.
  • Call the police.
  • Get a protection order.
  • Do whatever is needed to be safe from more violence right then. Talk to an advocate, friend, or relative when you are safe.
  • Talk to a person who understands what you’re experiencing and make plans.


  • Visit with an advocate, friend or relative who is supportive and will keep confidentiality.
  • Practice self-talk and tell yourself that his battering is not your fault. Attend a women’s group for survivors of domestic violence.
  • Go where people will respect, nurture and support you.
  • Find ways to continue self-growth through school, friends, family and other groups.
  • Seek medical and emotional help for sleep deprivation.


  • Call or visit people who believe you, especially if abuser's tactics makes you feel crazy and unable to trust your own judgment and perceptions.
  • Attend women’s group at the shelter or other places.
  • Leave and go to places that are physically and emotionally safe.


  • Call or visit with people you can trust.
  • Enroll the children with your Tribe if possible.
  • Get a protection order that either excludes visitation or requires supervised visitation with a drop-off contact.
  • File custody with the assistance of your advocate or attorney.
  • Have an attorney, advocate or other person contact your partner about the children so he doesn't have direct contact with you
  • Talk to the children about what’s going on. Advocates can help.


  • Save (or hide) as much money as possible. Get a separate checking and savings account.
  • Get assistance from state Child Support Enforcement program.
  • Get assistance from an advocate and/or attorney to make sure money issues are addressed in custody, divorce and other legal situations.
  • Speak to someone who understands the dynamics of battering in regards to money matters.
  • Recognize your right to share in decision making about family resources and make sure the basic needs of you and your children are met.


  • Leave as soon as possible and go to the shelter or other safe place.
  • Call the police.
  • Get a protection order.
  • Do whatever you need to be safe from more violence – right away.
  • Talk to an advocate or other person who understands battering/violence about what happened and to make other plans to get safe.


  • Get accurate information from someone who knows the culture and traditions, lives non-violently and respects women.
  • Talk to friends and relatives you trust about what he is saying and doing.
  • Find safe people, places and things that will help you continue to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the ways you choose.


  • Get accurate information from someone who knows the culture and traditions and/or religious teachings, lives non-violently and respects women.
  • Talk to friends and relatives about what you are going through and what he is saying and doing.
  • Continue to practice your own spiritual ways.

BE CAREFUL!  Do not warn him that you are planning to leave! His violence will get worse to keep you in his control. You have a right to support and assistance. Contact your local shelter/advocacy program for help.

 If You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Find a safe place.  Ask an advocate or a trusted friend or family member to be with you. No woman should stand alone.
  • Know in your heart that no matter what, it was not your fault.
  • Preserve evidence: if you change clothes, put the ones you were wearing in a bag; don’t brush your teeth or bathe.
  • Report the attack, if not to police, then to an advocate. Reporting is difficult and may not bring the justice you deserve, but it does break the silence that allows rapists to continue to hurt women.  Reporting also tells the rapist you are strong and will not keep his horrible secret.  This can help protect other women from going through what you are experiencing.
  • Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to be checked for STDs and pregnancy and/or to get Plan B to prevent pregnancy.
  • If you do not want to report, having a rape kit exam done gives you the ability to change your mind later about pressing charges.
  • A urine sample should be collected to see if you’d been drugged. If you were drinking, it does not mean you asked for it or that it wasn’t rape. Drinking is not a crime, but RAPE is!
  Produced by Sacred Circle, National Resource Center To End Violence Against Native Women