Leaving the Violence

If Your Are Threatened Or Assaulted and Need Emergency Help, Call 911.

National 24-hour Toll-Free Hotline Numbers:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)and 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)

Family Violence Affects Us All

Millions of women are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused every year by someone they know and love - their husband or partner. Any woman may be abused. It happens to women of all ages, races, religions, all income and educational levels, and all sexual orientations.

Abuse is never acceptable. Women don't "ask for it" and it's not caused by alcohol, drugs, financial pressure, depression, or jealousy. Abuse can begin - or get worse - when you're pregnant.

You can take the first step towards ending abuse by asking your doctor or nurse how to get help.

Planning For Your Safety

Making a decision to leave an abusive relationship can be very difficult. It may take time for you to feel ready. Call a women's shelter; someone there can help with a safety plan - you do not have to give anyone your name. If you are ready to leave:

Pack a bag in advance and leave it at a friend's or neighbor's house. Include cash or credit cards and extra clothes for you and your children. Take a favorite toy or plaything.

Hide an extra set of car and house keys outside of your house in case you have to leave quickly.

Take important papers, such as:

  • birth certificates for you and your children
  • health insurance cards and medicine
  • a deed or lease to your house or apartment
  • a checkbook and extra checks
  • your social security number or green card/work permit
  • any court papers or orders
  • a driver's license or photo ID
  • pay stubs

Talking to your doctor about abuse isn't easy, but it can help. When you're ready, we're here to listen.


Alicia Luchowski, MPH
Health Care for Underserved Women/ LARC Program


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998