Resources for Survivors, Friends, Family
Most people who experience violence first tell a friend or family member. Here’s how you can help someone reach safety and start the healing process.
Quick tips on how to support loved ones who have experienced violence
Abuse can take many forms and can happen at any point in someone’s life. It is never the survivor’s fault. By believing, listening without judgment, and showing compassion, you become a valuable lifeline.
Provide Resources & Safety
They may ask for your support while they are in a relationship, when they’re preparing to leave, or after they’ve left. They may ask for your support immediately following sexual assault or some time after an assault. Survivors know what is best for themselves and their situation. Support them by creating a safety plan and/or letting them know about resources that are closest to them. Not sure what’s available in your community? Find out what resources are available near you.
There are over sixty organizations in Virginia who have staff and volunteers trained to help in situations like this, often 24 hours a day. Friends, family, and loved ones can also receive help and guidance from advocates about next steps. You can be moral support if the person you care about decides to go to a local sexual and domestic violence agency, make a report, or seek legal counsel.
Below you can find written resources that you may view online or print out and share with others.
About Sexual Assault
About Intimate Partner Violence
Using the Legal System:
Protective Orders in Virginia: A booklet that thoroughly and plainly describes Virginia’s Protective Order process. Also includes information about Protective Orders for teen dating violence, and guidance for the Lesbian/Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgender (LGBT) Community. (revised 2022)
I-CAN! Virginia’s Online Forms Completion System for Protective Orders. This website helps to understand and fill out the application for a protective order. Information is available in English and Spanish.