Tips for Safely Reaching Out for Support

Tips for Safely Reaching Out for Support

This post was written by Lauren C.

Being in a relationship should not mean you lose your right to privacy or your right to talk to whomever you like. But in an abusive relationship, an abusive person may isolate their partner from sources of support. This is often done by checking their partner’s call log and text history or denying their partner the right to a phone.

Reaching out for support when you’re in an abusive relationship is scary, especially if there are barriers to having a safe phone. If you are having trouble finding a safe way to communicate with others for support, below are some options to consider:

  • Semi-Safe Phone: If you do have a phone that you use but you are concerned your partner sees your messages or call history, you could selectively delete texts and phone calls. Also, you could clear your search history on a smartphone so your abusive partner cannot see what websites you have visited. Additionally, if you have a family member or friend you trust, you can work out a plan with them where you decide on a code word that you’ll text them when you need help. When that person receives that message containing the code word, they’ll know to take some agreed upon action to help you, like calling the police or picking you up at a certain location.
  • Trusted Loved One or Neighbor: If you do not have access to a safe phone, there may be someone you trust who will let you use their phone to safely call for support.
  • Phone Not Connected to Service Provider: Sometimes an abusive partner will cut off their partner’s cell service. Even if the phone doesn’t have service to make general calls, it will call 911. Keeping it charged and near you will give you a way to call 911 in an emergency. If you have a smartphone, you may also be able to use the internet on the phone by connecting to wifi. If your home doesn’t have wifi, going to your local library, community center or coffee shop could be a way for you to reach out for support online.
  • Internet: There are services such as Google Voice (only available in the U.S.) or Skype that allow you to call someone via the internet. Keep in mind that Google Voice doesn’t work for all 1-800 numbers, but Skype is able to connect with most of them. Facebook also allows you to call other users you are friends with using wifi.
  • Secret Phone: If it is safe for you to do so, consider getting a phone your abusive partner doesn’t know about. You could keep it at work, with a trusted friend or family member, or in another safe place your partner won’t have access to. There are affordable pay-as-you-go phones which you could purchase and add minutes to when you need them. Another option is Verizon Hopeline, which provides free, refurbished cell phones to survivors through local domestic abuse centers. Safelink is also an option for low-income individuals to receive free phones and minutes.
  • Community Phones: Local community centers and libraries may have pay phones or public phones you can use. If you live in an apartment complex with a business center, it may offer you a safe way to reach out. Online searches can help you locate pay phones in your area as well.

When you feel safe and ready to reach out for help, don’t forget that loveisrespect advocates are here to support you 24/7!

Comment section

4 replies
  1. My name is Tori,

    I wanted to tell some people my story about one of my last relationships.
    I was dating this guy (not going to mention his name) from a different town. I’d go visit him every weekend and hang out with him and his mom. But usually his mom would be at work and his older brother would be sleeping because he worked late at night. Then one weekend, I couldn’t go over to his house because I made plans with some friends. He constantly text me that day saying, “Tell your friends that you get to see them everyday and you only get to see me during the weekends!”
    I told my friends that and they got really upset. I felt really bad. I almost lost my best friend!
    Then one weekend, me and him were hanging out at his house and we ended up having sex. It was my first time and he told me that it was his first time as well.
    I thought that he was different from everyone else, I guess he was, but the very possessive kind of different. He didn’t like any of my friends nor did he like me hanging out with anybody else but him.
    Then one day, I get a call from him and his mom saying that he was in the hospital with a serious case of diabetes. He forgot to take his insulin and ended going to the hospital for it, but it almost reached the point where it almost turned to Kitoacidosis. Which is a Condition where the insulin level is way too low and it could possibly kill a person.
    But I stayed at the hospital for a few hours with him, but his mother had to go to work and couldn’t stay over night with him.
    I asked my mom and she let me stay overnight with him. She also stayed with us. I was so happy and he “was” too.
    He cried when my mom and the nurse left the room. He cried and said, “I’m so glad you could be with me here tonight. I didn’t want to be alone. I never liked hospitals and I definitely don’t like staying at the hospital alone.”
    Exactly a week after, he broke up with me saying he never loved me.
    I said, “So I lost my virginity, my friends and my control to you for nothing? I really thought you were the one!!”
    And even to regret it even more, I was 15 and he was 16.
    Now, I have a boyfriend who treats me better than he did and lets me control my own life. I’m now 16 and I’m happier with this guy than with him.

    1. “This post has been modified to remove any personal information per our community guidelines.”

      Hi Tori,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our online community. It sounds like your ex treated you in disrespectful and hurtful ways. I’m sorry that you had to go through that and I’m glad that you are happier currently. From what we know, abuse is about power and control. It is common for abusers to try and isolate their partners from friends and family because cutting someone of from their support systems can be used as a tactic to gain more power and control over someone. Having a partner try and isolate you can be really upsetting and anxiety producing. In a healthy relationship, both partners trust each other to make their own decisions about who they hang out with, and when they hang out with other people. Abuse can take time to heal from and please don’t hesitate to reach out if would ever like to talk to an advocate about your relationships, your healing process, or anything else that is on your mind around this area. You can chat with us 24/7 through this website or call us at 1-866-331-9474.

      Take care,
      LIR Advocate RG

  2. my ex. boyfriend is blackmailing me. he always use abusive language for me. then I decided to break up with him. i dont want any relation with him. now I love someone and I told him about my past. but my ex. knows about it and now he says that he distribute my pictures etc. to my friends and parents. He also force me to complaint police report against the person whom I love now otherwise he will ruin my life. he force me to marry him and if I don’t do it he will spoil my career and future. I can’t tell my parents about it. it is very difficult for me to get rid out of it. he daily blackmails me and forces me to talk to him otherwise he will take revenge from me and from the person with whom I am now. please help me. I can’t share it with my family and friends because it is not comfortable for me. I am getting depressed because of it. he says that if I am not for him then he will not left me for any other person and spoils me in society. please help me.

    1. Hi swaty,

      We’re so sorry to hear that your ex is choosing to behave this way. You absolutely do not deserve the abusive language, threats and blackmail. We’d like to help in any way we can, so please call, chat or text any time to speak confidentially with one of our advocates.

Comments are closed.

caret-downemailfacebookgoogleplusLove is Respect Heart Iconlinkedinmagnifying-glasspdfpinterestreddittumblrtwitter
Click to go back to top of page.