Abuse Comes in Many Forms


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Cycle of Abuse

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Teen Dating

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Could this be you?

Is your partner caring or controlling?  If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. 

Are You in Danger?

This evidence-based questionnaire can help you determine if you are in immediate danger. 

Signs of an Abuser

Wants to get involved fast

Comes on very strong claiming "I've never felt loved like this by anyone".


Makes sure you are not with anyone else; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; checks the mileage on your vehicle.

Wants to control you

Wants to know about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.


Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of “causing trouble”.

Has hit women in the past

Admits hitting women in the past, says they made him do it.

Says he will hurt you

Says things like “I’ll break your neck” or “I’ll kill you” and then says “I didn’t really mean it”.

Ways to Own Your Hope

If you’re having trouble deciding whether to leave a violent relationship, help is available. You don’t have to do it alone. Contact the Family Safety Center and a trained professional will help you navigate the process. Here are some things to consider:

Domestic violence almost always repeats itself. Until you are ready to leave for good, it’s a good idea to plan for that “next time.”

  • Practice leaving your home safely…which doors, windows, or stairwells would you use in emergency?
  • Keep a packed bag with copies of important papers, medications, and other essentials with a friend or relative in case you need to leave quickly.
  • Tell a neighbor about your situation and ask them to call police if they hear a disturbance.
  • Pick a safety code word to use with family and friends when you want them to call police.

An order of protection is issued by the court to prohibit your abuser from abusing, stalking or sexually assaulting you. The court will ask you to prove that you are in immediate danger, so the order of protection includes more detail and documentation than a police report.  The abuser will be “served” the order telling him or her to stay away from you.

Safety with a protective order:

  • Keep a copy of your order with you and have copies in your car, at work, and with family or friends.
  • Make sure family, friends, and co-workers know about the order.

If police need to be called, ask for the police report number afterward.

Leaving is hard. Remember, your abuser has invested a lot of time manipulating you into thinking that you can’t survive without them and that you deserved to be hit or threatened. It’s no wonder that on average someone tries to leave a violent relationship seven times before they are successful.

Every situation is different. The Family Safety Center staff can help you create a plan specific to your situation. Leaving is a process, it does not happen overnight, but we can help you file an order of protection, get legal advice, and arrange for emergency shelter in one visit. Our community partners provide ongoing counselling and support groups. You are not alone.

We're always here for you, no matter what. If you're unsure, contact us.

How to Help a Friend

Mid-south Resource

The Family Safety Center brings to one location the services necessary to help domestic violence victims in Memphis and Shelby County leave a violent situation. FSC revolutionized how our community serves victims who otherwise would have to travel to multiple locations for help. Own Your Hope is possible with support from AutoZone.

Family Safety Center 

901.222.4400 (8 am to 4:30 pm Mon. – Friday)

Call to make an appointment. Walk-ins welcome.

24-Hour Crisis Line