What to do if you’re a victim of domestic violence

If you do suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, do not be afraid to ask

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Domestic violence is something that’s not often discussed, but we’re trying to change that.

Many women and men who are victims of domestic violence never tell anyone including their loved ones or police.

A lot of people might ask why would someone in a domestic violence situation would stay in the relationship.

“There are a lot of reasons that preclude victims from leaving,” said Christine Gill, with Total Action for Progress (TAP) Domestic Violence Services. “A lot of them are shame and fear, whether it’s about their their family and friends finding out about the abuse. Being blamed for it. They somehow provoked the abuse. Being ostracized from their community. The fear of not knowing what’s going to happen next if they come forward and talk about the abuse. But also a lot of survivors don’t have the resources to step out on their own.”

Through its domestic violence services, TAP offers case management emergency services such as accompaniment to the hospital and a 24-hour emergency hotline. People in the Roanoke Valley can reach the hotline at (540) 580-0775.

If you do suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, do not be afraid to ask.

“That could be the first step in their recovery, in leaving an abusive situation and getting help by having that one person to really take the time to say ‘I’m worried about you. You haven’t been acting the same. I’ve been noticing some marks on you that you can’t really explain. I’m here to help. I’m here to listen. I’m here to talk to you. How can I help you?’” continued Gill.

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