Domestic Violence & Abuse
The Women’s Center’s domestic violence services include emergency shelter, transitional living, individual advocacy, and support groups for victims of domestic abuse. Our services are free, including onsite childcare during 1:1 advocacy sessions and support groups. We can provide referrals to specialized counseling services in the community if they are needed.
To make an appointment with an advocate, contact The Women’s Center at 262.547.4600.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is emotional, verbal, or physical abuse within significant/intimate relationships. It can occur in relationships where the parties involved are living or not living together; married, divorced, separated, or dating; have children or don’t have children; are heterosexual or homosexual; are adults, children, elderly or disabled. Domestic violence happens in all types of homes to all kinds of people, regardless of age, race, education, or economic status.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you, including your children or pets. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family.
Important Safety Tips
- Create a safety plan specific to your situation.
- Break your isolation and reach out to family, friends, service agencies, and others.
- Talk about safety with your children.
- Think about what documents you may need if you leave.
You Have the Right…
- To ask for what you want.
- To say no to requests or demands you cannot meet.
- To express your feelings, positive or negative.
- To change your mind.
- To make mistakes and to not have to be perfect.
- To determine your own priorities.
- To not be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
- To expect honesty from others.
- To be angry at someone you love.
- To feel scared and say, “I’m afraid”.
- To not have to give reasons for your behavior.
- To your own need for personal time.
- To be in a non-abusive environment.
- To make friends and be comfortable around people.
How to Keep Yourself and Your Children Safe When Preparing/Planning to Leave Your Abuser
- Leave extra clothes, money and keys with someone you can trust outside of the home in case you need to leave quickly.
- Keep copies of important documents in a place that can be accessed quickly and safely.
- Open a savings account to increase your independence.
- Keep some money with you at all times.
- Arrange where you can stay if you need to leave quickly.
- Determine other things that you can do to increase your safety.
- Contact The Women’s Center’s 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828 or 888.542.3828.