What to do if you're experiencing intimate partner violence

1. Learn About Abusive Relationships

  • Intimate Partner or Relationship Violence occurs in many forms and it exists on a spectrum. Abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial and academic, and is usually a combination of several of these factors.
  • Find out if you might be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship at The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Trust your instincts! If something feels wrong, it probably is.

2. Create a Safety Plan

  • A safety plan includes personalized, concrete steps you can take to reduce the possibility of being harmed, whether physically or emotionally, by an abusive partner.  
  • You should always have access to your safety plan. If you cannot keep it, you can memorize the most important details on it.  You can also give a copy to someone you trust.
  • Consult this safety plan for college students.

3. Get to a Safe Place if You are in Immediate Danger

  • After experiencing a traumatizing event such as intimate partner violence, it can be important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This location could be:
    • home
    • friend’s room
    • local hospital
    • police station

4. Call for Assistance

  • Call 911 or Public Safety for immediate police protection and assistance OR:
  • Call a professional Survivor Advocate or Peer Advocate from the Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center, (212) 854-HELP (available 24/7/365)
  • Safe Horizon’s Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.621.HOPE (4673)

5. Seek Medical Attention, if Necessary

To check for injuries; you may have injuries that you can't see or feel. Also, take pictures of any visible injuries.

Medical services/resources:

  • Medical Services (Columbia University, Morningside Heights)
  • Student Health Service (Columbia University Medical Center)
  • Barnard Primary Care Health Service (Barnard College)
  • St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department (212) 523-3330, 114th & Amsterdam
  • Roosevelt Hospital Emergency Department (212) 523-6800, 59th & 10th Ave.
  • Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center: Domestic and Other Violence Emergencies (DOVE) (212) 305-9060, 168th & Broadway

6. Consider Talking with a Counselor

Counseling is often helpful for survivors because it provides a safe place to talk about your experience and your feelings.

Counseling services/resources:                             

7. Consider

Last updated November 17, 2014