Advocate for Survivors

Uplifting the voices, lived experiences, and survivor-led solutions by....

Understanding that survivors are the experts of their experiences and safety. Survivors know their experience and story better than anyone. Taking a survivor-centered approach empowers survivors by prioritizing their needs and wants. Often, abusers deny their partners’ self-determination; empowering survivors returns their control and enables them to make their own decisions.

ASK: In what ways can we support survivors in making their own decisions about how to address abuse?

RESPOND: Listen! Ask survivors what they need to individually to be safe—there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing domestic violence.

Providing a survivor or friends or family of a survivor support to help them navigate safety and care by...

Listening to, believing in, and making referrals for survivors. If you’re having a conversation about domestic violence and someone discloses that they are a victim or survivor, you can:

Listen, and communicate that the abuse they’re experiencing is not their fault. Let them know that they deserve safety and refer them to resources:

If they are in immediate danger and feel comfortable potentially involving law enforcement, please call 911.

To speak with a domestic violence advocate, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by phone (800-799-SAFE), TTY (1-800-787-3224), chat, or text (START to 88788).

Learn more about domestic violence from

Contact your local domestic violence program

Learning more about what intimate partner violence is by...

Understanding that abuse is rooted in power and control. Abuse is intentional. It is a myth that someone who abuses their partner is “out of control;” in fact, they are in good control (How often do they “lose control” at work? With a friend? With other family members?) and purposely choose tactics to control their partner. Power is hard to give up or share, and abusive actions are purposeful with the goal of gaining power and control over a partner.

ASK: What do you think are common ways that offenders use power and control over victims?

RESPOND: Strategically isolating victims is a common tactic to gain power and control over a victim. For example, perpetrators may trap their partners by withholding, lying about, or hiding financial assets, a form of financial abuse.

Understanding the many forms of abuse used to harm a partner. Violence takes on many forms and it is a tool used by people who commit harm to control the actions, behaviors, and attitudes of their partner. Forms of violence commonly used by a person who commits harm can include can be emotional, physical, psychological, and financial. Violence can also be used to harm others in the home, such as children, pets, and loved ones, and disrupt survivors relationships outside the home, such as in faith spaces, workplaces, and communities.

To learn more about intimate partner violence, visit our Get Help Now page for additional resources.