Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are a survivor, you can get help. We care. We will listen.
The ACADV is dedicated to serving you. If you have concerns about your safety, please call the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline.
Our safe shelters will open their doors for you and your children. The ACADV’s shelter programs offer temporary emergency shelter and transitional housing, individual counseling and peer support groups and connections to community and legal resources.
Find a Domestic Violence Shelter Program in Your Area:
Counties Served: Randolph, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell
(334) 749-1515 Crisis Line/Office
Counties Served: Lamar, Fayette, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Hale
(205) 758-0808 Crisis Line/Office
*culturally specific service for foreign born survivors
These offices offer free legal assistance to people in civil cases (including cases involving domestic violence) who cannot afford to pay a lawyer. Call the Legal Services Alabama (LSA) Statewide Intake Hotline at (866) 456-4995 or the most convenient LSA office below to ask for further help.
For More Information:
Click here to view a complete list of Alabama Circuit Courts by county.
If you are involved with an abuser, you should know you are never safe. You need to think about ways to take care of yourself and make a plan for your safety. Every situation is different, but safety planning is a crucial step towards protecting yourself and your children.
You know your situation better than anyone else. The following are suggestions you may wish to consider in planning for your safety.
- Practice getting out of the house quickly.
- Tell neighbors to call police if they hear strange noises. (Tip: Make a code to signal for them to call.)
- Teach your children how to dial 911 and find safety.
- Decide where you will go.
- Call the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-650-6522 to locate the nearest shelter.
- Scream for help (and do not stop).
- Do NOT run into a room that contains potential weapons such as the kitchen.
- Do NOT run into a room with no exit such as the bathroom or a closet.
- Call the police.
- Try to get to a safe place such as a neighbor’s house or public place.
- Get out of the house.
- Get medical help. Your records could be evidence that can help you.
- Tell someone you trust what happened (a doctor, counselor, relative, neighbor).
- Call the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-650-6522 for immediate help.
- Consider leaving and finding a shelter, even if just for the night.
- Store money, clothes and keys with a friend or in a safety deposit box.
- Collect important, sentimental and valuable personal belongings i.e. medication, pictures, jewelry, etc.
- Open a separate savings account.
- Keep copies of important documents and personal identification cards on hand.
- Download and complete a Protection From Abuse order.
- Change the locks on your doors and windows.
- Install an alarm system, window bars, smoke detectors, and a fire extinguisher.
- Put up outside lights.
- Ask co-workers not to tell where you are if your batterer comes to the workplace or calls.
- Keep your office door locked if you can.
- Plan an escape route if your partner comes to work.
- Work when other people are there, never alone.
- Vary your route and the times you go to work.
- Vary routines your partner may be familiar with i.e. change groceries, banks, or day care.
- Go out during the busiest times and/or take someone with you.
- Have people you trust walk you to and from your car.
- Carry a whistle.
- Take a self defense class.
It is important to develop an age-appropriate and realistic safety plan for your children. The ACADV has provided some topics to consider and discuss with your kids to be proactive.
Kids in Preschool and Elementary School:
- What is something I can think about when I get scared?
- Who can I go to when I get scared?
- Who can I talk to when I am feeling down or afraid?
- Where are the safest exits in the house?
- Who can I contact in an emergency? (Make sure your child knows his/her phone number as well how to contact the police or a neighbor, friend and/or relative in the case of an emergency.)
- Who should I tell about the violence and abuse (friends, teachers, security, etc.) in order to be safe?
- If stranded, who should I call for a ride home?
- Where could I go to quickly to get away from an abusive person?
- Keep a journal describing the abuse.
- Keep spare change, calling cards, number of the local shelter, number of someone who could help you and restraining orders with you at all times.
- What other things can I do?
How to Work with Children:
When first working with a child, it is helpful to ask what makes her/him feel comfortable and uncomfortable with adults. Parents and other adults working with children will need to build trust to yield nurturing and healing.
These key factors will help …
- Show respect. Promote independence, allow for privacy and respect the child’s feelings for the other parent. Believe in them and show interest in their opinions, thoughts and ideas.
- Provide security. Talk and act so that the child feels safe and comfortable expressing themselves. Be gentle, dependable and attentive.
- Give discipline. Use discipline to give instruction, not to punish. Be clear and consistent about limits and expectations.
- Express affection. Participate in their lives and include them in yours. Let the child know you care by being affectionate, especially at times when he or she is upset.
- Offer support. Encourage the child to follow their interests. Let them make mistakes. Listen to them, give them space and recognize their achievements.
Dating violence can happen to anyone. Everyone deserves to be respected in their dating relationships. Whether you are casually seeing someone or in a serious relationship, knowing these Safety Tips and the Dating Bill of Rights will help ensure that you make smart decisions.
- Consider double dating the first few times you go out with a new person.
- Before leaving on a date, know the exact plans for the evening and make sure a friend or family member knows what time you expect your date to end. Let your date know that you plan to check in with this person when you arrive home.
- Be aware of your decreased ability to react under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you leave a party with someone you do not know well, make sure you tell another person you are leaving and with whom. Ask a friend to call and make sure you arrived home safely.
- Assert yourself when necessary. Be firm and straightforward in your relationships.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, try to be calm and think of a way to remove yourself from the situation.
Dating Bill of Rights:
I have the right to ….
- Ask for a date.
- Refuse a date.
- Suggest activities.
- Refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them.
- Have my own feelings and be able to express them.
- Say, “I think my friend is wrong and his actions are inappropriate”.
- Tell someone not to interrupt me.
- Have my limits and values respected.
- Tell my partner when I need affection.
- Refuse affection.
- Be heard.
- Refuse to lend money.
- Refuse sex any time, for any reason.
- Have friends and space aside from my partner.
I have the responsibility to ….
- Determine my limits and values.
- Respect the limits of others.
- Communicate clearly and honestly.
- Not violate the limits of others.
- Ask for help when I need it.
- Be considerate.
- Check my actions and decisions to determine if they are good or bad for me.
- Set high goals for myself.
Concerned that you may be in an abusive relationship? Remember you are not alone. Nearly 20 percent of dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship. Please talk to a trusted adult or contact ACADV for help.
The most common question asked about domestic violence victims is — “Why does she stay?”
This question puts the responsibility back on the victim and shows a misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence. No one deserves to be abused or threaten. She is a victim and is not to blame. A more appropriate question would be: “Why does he abuse her?” or “Why can’t he be stopped from hurting his family?”
Women stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Guilt and fear are major factors. She may convince herself that it is ok because he has a hard life, that he needs her or that it is her fault. She may fear harm to her reputation, the safety of her children, retaliation, more severe abuse or that he will take her life.
If you know someone who is being abused, let her speak confidentially about her situation. You may be the only person with whom she feels comfortable.
Address the Following:
- Show her you care and extend emotional support.
- Listen to her, believe her and do not blame her for the abuse.
- Advise her not to deny or minimize the seriousness of the abuse.
- Suggest she call the Alabama Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-650-6522 for help.
- Inform her about resources in her community for victims of domestic violence.
- Let her keep important papers and extra clothes at your house.
- Assure your friend that the violence in her home concerns you. Let her know you are afraid for her safety/life.
- Learn about domestic violence and help your friend understand she is not alone.
- Encourage her to develop a safety plan and think of ways to escape quickly.
- Focus on her strengths and remind her she deserves better.
Look for These Signs:
- Have you noticed evidence of injuries and improbable explanations?
- Have you noticed her missing work frequently?
- Have you noticed changes in her or her children’s behavior?
- Does her partner show an unusual amount of control over her life?
- Does her partner embarrass or ridicule her in public?
- Does her partner blame her for the way he acts or the things he says?