A Guide About Narcissism And What You Can Do To Break The Chains They Hold

Every year on June 1st the WNAAD hold the World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day. They do this in the hope that as many forums available on social media use this day to raise awareness as one big voice.

It is estimated that over 158 million people are affected by narcissism in the USA alone, add to that all the other countries in the world that is a staggering amount of people who have gone through the trauma of the abuse that narcissists carry out, then if you go as far to add on top those that are unaware they have been subjected narcissistic abuse so are therefore not recorded as yet the numbers enter into the most horrific amounts that you could possibly imagine.

You can’t visit any sites that publish articles such as this one without finding a large number of articles on the subject. There are so many tiers to narcissism that it is impossible to ever say ‘here you go this is the ultimate guide to narcissism’.

Each time someone thinks yes, we have nailed it down someone else comes along and talks of other tactics used by the narcissist and so the trauma continues.

In this article, we have given you as much information as possible on the most common tactics used and what you can do about it. You will also find at the bottom of the article, useful helpline number and websites.

To understand narcissistic behavior

To be able to understand narcissism you must face the narcissist, you have to see it first-hand to believe it. Telling someone about narcissism is difficult at the best of times as people just can’t grasp the horror involved, they sit there thinking this is impossible, he/she has got to be making this up.

Those who have NPD – narcissistic personality disorder believe themselves to be better than anyone else, hence the term grandiose that is always used when describing a narcissist.

They have zero empathy for anyone and that includes any children they may have and they have an insatiable need for self-admiration and top that up with doing all they can to be admired by those they associate with they are a very cold self-serving individual.

To them they deserve special treatment from everyone and that they are the best of the best, they are true leaders in life and everyone should see them that way. They have a ‘God-like’ attitude about themselves and literally think they should be worshipped!

Often, the characteristics of a narcissist present itself as the person reaches maturity, they are now sexually mature and are ready for a relationship. That doesn’t mean children can’t be narcissistic it just means by adulthood they are more adept at how to use this behavior for their own ends.

They have no concept of what a healthy relationship should look like. They may have grown up in a loving family where everyone thinks of others and compromises, yet they will never compromise and will only do what is needed for their own benefit. So the excuse of people are only narcissistic as they grew up in a dysfunctional family is totally false.

The narcissist believes they are special, they seek out people they view as weaker than themselves or will seek out those that have personality traits, they wish they had but don’t. They then absorb those qualities onto themselves which then gives the illusion they are someone they are not; this is often referred to as mirroring.

Every person they choose is for a specific reason, there is thought and logic behind all they do and only those that can feed their ego and self-esteem make the cut the narcissist has no self-esteem so they need to absorb other peoples.

They can’t stand to be subjected to criticism and they need people to always think highly of them, should you ever criticize a narcissist they will see it as an insult against them and they will think nothing of doing all they can to bring you down.

In an ideal world, there would be no narcissists, our lives would not be subjected to the insidious abuse they use and we wouldn’t find ourselves suffering at their hands or once we have escaped finding ourselves going through years of recovery from that abuse.

They put us in a dark place, a place where they have total control and to claw your way out takes strength and courage we as individuals often think we don’t have until the time comes when we know we need to escape, trust me every survivor has said ‘I didn’t think I was strong enough, until I had no choice but to escape’.

For the purpose of your own well-being, you must learn how to spot a narcissist, how to deal with them, what they do and then the aftermath of surviving them.

Spotting and dealing with a narcissist

There are many forms the narcissist takes that are not always easy to spot. We all know someone who is up themselves and you think ‘oh god one of those’, they are the ones with some narcissistic traits and can easily be avoided or at least handled if in a work situation. The most dangerous ones are those that wear a very good disguise, the malignant ones, the ones who pretend to be an all-around good person and these are the ones that make you fall in love with them before they reveal their true nature.

It is almost like they work to a script written just for them, girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, life is perfect, dreams are coming true, then boom! Life turns upside down and you are living in hell. The scenario is the same vice versa, both genders can be narcissists and both genders can be as dangerous as each other.

At the beginning of the relationship, everything is so damn perfect, you almost feel guilty for being this happy, as they say, no one or anything is perfect keep that in mind for future reference as it is one of your very first red flags.

You are having this amazing honeymoon period, your new partner is loving, caring and kind, that’s great in normal relationships but this isn’t a normal relationship as you soon find out once they have you hook, line and sinker, the masks begin to drop off and the real person is revealed.

This revealing is never all at once either which is what adds to the confusion. The masks may drop off and then be put back on, for example, they lose their temper with you that leaves you stunned, then they come back with a ton of apologies, gifts and excuses that they had a bad day.

When this happens you accept the excuses because everyone has a bad day, right? Yes, we all have bad days, what we don’t do is take it out on those we are supposed to love. When you make excuses for this behavior all you are doing is fooling yourself that everything will be okay, it won’t be, this is just the beginning of the narcissistic hell you are descending into.

The narcissist will lead you on in every way possible. They will appear this amazing person to be around, full of fun, a great sense of humor, charming, witty and worldly wise. All those behaviors they are showing have been stolen from someone, remember mirroring.

As time goes on the fun stops, the charming ways disappear, the double-edged insults begin, the criticism of you becomes a daily occurrence and before you know it you have become a different person as they have consumed you, they have you captured in their web of deceit, you are their prisoner and you have been brainwashed into believing you couldn’t possibly exist without them.

To try and prevent this from happening to you, you will need to know what to look for, how to spot someone who is a narcissist and what you can do about it.

They are the most important person, period

They do nothing but talk about themselves to you, this is a great way of assessing whether someone is a narcissist as if they have no inclination to hear what you have to say, it shows you how little of importance you are to them.

There is nothing wrong with talking about your accomplishments in life, your career, your family, likes and dislikes, as long you each get equal talking time. If the conversation if you can call it that is all one-sided, then it clearly shows any kind of relationship would be very one-sided.

If you do get a word in, and they suddenly do stop and listen its because you are talking about something, they can absorb into themselves, an example being you have knowledge of something they don’t so they listen and learn from you. That will then be stored away for future use.

What to do: 

If you find yourself in this situation know this is a red flag, make your excuses and leave the conversation, if you feel you can’t leave safely just let them talk themselves silly, appear interested and pretend you are listening until you then have the opportunity to leave. I find excusing myself to go to the bathroom always useful then I run like hell.

They get into a fury when they feel slighted

Everyone gets angry at times in their lives that is a normal human response to something we don’t like, a classic example is, we get angry when someone lies to us.

With a narcissist they don’t just get angry they get insanely angry and that is because they have lost total control of themselves. If, for example, what they planned to have happen hasn’t they lose it and will blame any failure on you, and their anger will be off the scale leaving you afraid of what they might do next.

What to do: 

They are trying to gaslight you; they will say everything possible to get inside your head and lay a huge guilt trip on you. They will tell you that you imagined what you are saying to them, it never happened and that is why they are angry with you. Truth is they are angry as you have exposed them for what they are. They will attempt to convince you that you can’t rely on your own thoughts and feelings making you feel crazy and that you are no longer able to believe your own judgment over things.

Know this, you are not crazy at all, you are thinking clearly perhaps for the first time in a while and tell them you are leaving and make sure you do leave, yes, the fury will be legendary as you are leaving them on your terms but leave you must for your own peace of mind.

They will never respect any rules you have

Rules never apply to a narcissist; they believe they are too good to be restricted by anything. No one has the right to tell them they can’t do something and just like a child learning right from wrong if it doesn’t fit their needs, they will throw an enormous temper tantrum, unlike a child who does learn right from wrong, the narcissist will not and any standing you have on certain behavior will be ignored. An example being you have strong beliefs on a certain subject they will do all they can to change that.

What to do: 

This behavior too often isn’t seen until you are in quite deep and what they once claimed to admire about you becomes a challenge for them to destroy. They are now disrespecting you and enforcing their thoughts upon you, this will only get worse, leave as soon as you can.

They watch everything you do as they want to control you

Everything you say and do will be monitored, and they will take steps often ones that go unnoticed at first to manipulate you into doing things you would not normally do. They literally start looking over your shoulder, checking your diary, changing things you had planned at the last minute. Showing up late to dates leaving you waiting then claim you had the wrong time and they are not late.

They even resort to cancelling plans you may have had with friends but you are the last to know, and they say your friends cancelled, it isn’t until later you find this to be untrue. This is usually the first step to when they isolate you from your friends and family and start forbidding you from doing things you enjoy.

What to do: 

Friends and family would cancel directly with you, wouldn’t they? If you find yourself in this position check they did cancel, I know its daunting to think that if I ask then I’m letting them know I have relationship problems, get a little clever on this, call and say, ‘I’m just checking that (insert name) called to cancel in time I’m so sorry’. If they answer he/she did then you have all you need to know. You then have the choice of confronting the narcissist, or if you feel you can’t then you know deep down, you’re in trouble in this relationship and you need to get out as fast as you can.

They have no respect for your boundaries

They will never respect any boundaries you have; they will keep pushing until you drop your boundaries just for a quiet life. They will never take no for an answer on anything unless it suits them to. If you do say no and it isn’t what they want to hear they will change tactics usually very swiftly that makes you unaware that they have beaten you down and before you know it you have given in.

What to do: 

Stay true to what you believe in, don’t allow them to force you into doing anything that you feel is wrong, you know deep down what is right and wrong and to then do something against your own principles can have a long-lasting effect.

Standing up to them is daunting but something you will need to do if they can’t respect your boundaries which they won’t then you are going to be subjected to all the forms of manipulation they have to hand.

Just stay strong and true to yourself. Never do things that you feel are wrong. Even if your mind has already been tampered with, somewhere deep in your heart and soul, you know what is right and what is wrong. They can’t take that away from you.

Tactics narcissists use to manipulate you

They will use whatever they want to manipulate you, gaslighting, blackmail, emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse to name but a few.

They turn to hoovering you, yet another tactic when they know that you are at the end of putting up with all they do, they know they are losing control over you. This is one of the strongest weapons in their armoury, they know you have lost your self-worth and self-love, they know you have sunk as low as you possibly can so they use hoovering by claiming to love and respect you and want you both to be happy, they will turn back to how they were when you first met them, in essence, they are pulling you back into the abusive relationship just as you are about to break free, or have left and are uncertain you have done the right thing and are at the most vulnerable point in your life. 

They put wrong interpretations on your thoughts and emotions

You know what you are thinking and feeling, no, you are not crazy, but they plant the seed of doubt, for example, saying, ‘are you sure that’s what happened as I remember it differently?’

It is like they are inside your head and know exactly what you are thinking and feeling, this can be intimidating, to say the least, they are not inside your head reading your mind, what they are really doing is using all the stored-up information they have on you leading you to think they are inside your head.

They are experts when it comes to twisting anything to their own advantage and that includes your mental well-being.

They change the subject

Should you feel able to challenge them, which is no small feat, they will artfully change the subject to disarm you, they will hit you with a barrage of words until you can’t even think straight anymore.

They will bring up every small thing you have in their eyes done wrong going back years, they will make you look the ‘problem’ and they are the ‘victim’. You will end up feeling an inept excuse for a human being, you will blame yourself and this is exactly what they want.

They stalk and want to destroy your reputation

This is often referred to as the ‘smear campaign’. It is a brutal tactic and the narcissist involves everyone you know and love. They do all they can to convince family and friends that you have problems and that they have been covering for you.

They will tell wild and amazing stories that leave people wondering if they even really know you. They are isolating you as you will be so humiliated by this that you would rather be alone than in company.

Know this, you are not sick, you are not crazy, you are not a problem, the only problem is the narcissist themselves. I remember telling the narcissist when he screamed at me that I was the problem, that I only had one problem and that was him! he didn’t like that one bit.

They will use the ‘laughing at you’ tactic

Laughing with someone is very different from laughing ‘at’ someone. The narcissists only know how to laugh at someone. They use this behavior very skilfully to the point it isn’t until you think back later that you see they were laughing at you. They will use sarcasm to make you feel undermined and quite frankly leave you feeling like the worst human being on the planet.

Should you then tell them how they made you feel, they tell you that you are too sensitive, or you need to grow up and not be such a baby about things.

Everything a narcissist does has a motive and humiliating you is designed to have maximum impact and cause maximum pain.

They will gaslight you

They use this as it’s a quick simple task for them, they will throw into conversations things like ‘I’ll decide for you shall I as you can’t get things right.’ Or they will tell you that they are only making decisions to help you because they love you.

Over time your free will disappears and you lose your self-respect and you end up believing it must be because they love you so much, they are putting up with you and that you can’t possibly exist without them.

They will criticize you

At every opportunity, they will criticize you. They will have you believe that you are too stupid to be able to complete even the simplest of tasks. You could be extremely successful and competent in your career, yet when you get home, they will make you feel stupid and worthless.

Living with this takes its toll, it’s hurtful, it destroys you emotionally and that feeds into your physical well-being and is what leads you to believe you are going crazy, so you are relieved they stay with you as they have convinced you no one else could possibly want a relationship with you.

Leaving the narcissist

You will get to the point of no return; you will instinctively know when to leave and the leaving stage is different for every person. The is no magic guidebook on when, where and how, if only there was.

When I talk with survivors and the topic of leaving comes up each of them say that deep down, they knew they were leaving and, in some aspect, they had emotionally detached themselves. Some planned for months before leaving, putting a little money aside in secret accounts, moving things out of the home that they couldn’t bear to part with, being pragmatic about accepting that some things would just have to be left behind and fought for another day.

Then there are the ones that reached the breaking point and left with the clothes they stood up in and not knowing where they would sleep that night or when their next meal was coming from.

You can’t just leave an abusive relationship and I really detest the thoughtless people that say this, the almost mantra of a question ‘If it was that bad you should have left’ or ‘Why didn’t you just leave then?’

Leaving is losing so much, you lose your home, your security and many feel ashamed that they have been living a lie.

When you leave the abuse doesn’t stop, you have court appearances especially if children are involved and narcissists do love to use children to continually abuse you. They are experts at the legal system and will use it to their advantage, having a good lawyer helps but that alone is a huge task to find one that really knows their stuff and isn’t afraid to use it.

Leaving also leaves you feeling alone, a failure, you are filled with disgust for yourself that you allowed this to happen, these are all normal emotions and we have all felt them.

The aftermath of narcissistic abuse

You have to regain your self-worth

Right now you are scared, really scared, you believe you have no value as a person, you are shattered into a billion pieces and you believe you have no way back. You have lost your dignity; your self-respect and you think life is over for you.

You are worth so much, you are a beautiful unique human being and you must never give up, you have to keep getting up every day, facing whatever that day brings and as each day passes you will regain your self-worth.

You are vulnerable and scared

You trusted the narcissist and they betrayed you, it is NOT your fault. You will blame yourself, that’s normal. You will try and hide from people what you are thinking and feeling as you don’t know who you can trust right now.

Every little thing that happens will make you emotional, you may cry, even get angry, again all NORMAL!

You will try to convince yourself and those around you that you are okay, try not to do this, be true to yourself have the ‘real’ moments this is part of your healing even though you may not realize it your journey to heal has already begun.

You will keep your experience a secret

Shame plays a large part in what comes next. We feel ashamed that we lived a lie, we are embarrassed to tell our story due to the fear of being judged or having someone say, ‘I told you so’.

You will be scared that if you open up you could leave yourself wide open to another narcissist stepping in, this is a legitimate real fear as narcissists do search for vulnerable people recovering so keep that in mind.

You build an emotional wall and swear to never let another living soul in ever again, your guard is up 24/7 and this is an exhausting way to live.

Anxiety is all you know

You are living on your nerves wondering if the narcissist will attempt contact or whether they are telling lies about you and leaving you unsure who is safe to talk to and who is the narcissist’s source of information about you.

Memories will flood your mind, everything they said and did and you feel like you are drowning under the emotions and you can’t breathe, you tell yourself that you are not normal and they were right, they must be as you’re not coping with life.

You are coping you just don’t see it that way yet. Remembering how they were and treated you is actually healthy, it is your mind sorting through all that has happened and almost in a way putting all that into files in your mind which will come out again should you feel an urge to go back to them, and sometimes the files flip open and show you that you have gone through a part of your recovery and you should be damn proud of what you have achieved.

You doubt everyone

You feel you can’t trust anyone, friends and family who have let you down will come under this heading, but remember they have been taken in by the narcissist too, so consider giving them a chance for you both to talk it over, yet don’t give them too much info on how you are now, if you wonder if they can be trusted tell them something specific to each person you talk to and then wait and see if it gets back to the narcissist, as trust me if the damn narc feels they have something on you they will make sure you know it.

You will view every new person you meet as a threat; you have lived through a nightmare and you have no intentions of having that repeated. Not everyone is a narcissist, take your time and build any new friendships or relationships on your terms.

You’ll hide your feelings

Showing your feelings when with the narcissist left you vulnerable to their abuse, over time without you realizing it you ceased to show your feelings and you hid your emotions. You are closed in on yourself as you feel this is the best way to keep yourself safe from harm, and it takes a lot of work to stop yourself from behaving like this and to be truthful some of us never stop hiding our emotions and this is where many survivors are accused of being cold people.

We are not cold at all, we are protecting ourselves, we know not all men/women are narcissists and one day we will open up but only with the right people, people we can trust.

You’ll apologize all the time

You will find yourself apologizing all the damn time, why? Because that is how you have lived for so long, every day you were made to say ‘I’m sorry’ so many times that it is now a habit and one you will need to break.

Life was easier when you were saying sorry wasn’t it, they were blaming you for everything, the fights were relentless, the criticism constant that saying sorry was the only way to appease the narcissist.

Now you are free, you owe no one an explanation and only say sorry for what you have really done wrong.

You’ll hate yourself

Yes, it’s true you will at first. You won’t want to look in the mirror as the person looking back at you is a shadow of your former self, and you will be thinking it’s your fault you look like this.

It is not your fault, they stole you from you and no they didn’t do it because you are weak, they were able to do it as they decided you were worth the long game to get what they needed from you.

So you hate yourself for all of that, that’s fine have a little hate, but then remember who you are, and bring that person to the front of your mind, now stand in front of the mirror and say hello stranger to them, nope not talking crazy here, try it, it’s a great step towards getting you back.

Your recovery will take as long at it takes, you are grieving, you are finding yourself all over again, you are empowering yourself and above all healing, there is no time limit to this and don’t you dare let anyone tell you to ‘just get over it’.

They will try and sneak back in

Yes, they do love to do this, they see you growing stronger with every passing day, they may hear about what you have been up to from people, they will hear that you look so much better, you’ve gained weight/lost weight, you’ve changed your hair, you’re happily building a new home for yourself the list is endless.

They think to themselves I want him/her back so they start to pursue you again, except this time you’re ready for them and this time you are going to be the winner.

Ways to stop being pulled back in

Ignoring them

When you leave the narcissist you have done it on your terms, not theirs and they don’t like that one bit, as far as they are concerned, they say when they are done with you, not you.

The last thing they want is for you to move on from them, they will want revenge in any way they can, they want you to continue to suffer at their hands.

Sometimes, when we leave, we have this burning desire to get revenge and that’s normal by the way! Truth is taking revenge only hurts ourselves so the best tactic is to ignore them, act like they cease to exist, not as easy as it sounds though especially if children are involved.

If you are going through a divorce seek the guidance of your lawyer, they can lay down specific terms of contact for you and if necessary, make it a court order.

If it is just you, then go full on no contact. Ignore the sudden ‘Hi, how are you?’ texts, changing your number is one option but they always have this annoying ability to find new numbers out.

Do not respond to them in any way, what started as seeming friendly light-hearted texts will soon turn sinister and demanding, and you will see clearly nothing has changed, you have removed their power over you and in doing so you have empowered yourself.

They are not like normal people

Normal people respect boundaries and if you don’t want to talk to them, they accept it, a narcissist will not accept this, they will look to start fights and conflict so in doing this they are showing you how abnormal they are.

They are never satisfied in life, they have zero self-esteem of their own, all the showy behavior is built on lies, the behaviors are stolen from others they have unlimited amounts of alter egos and this makes them dangerous people.

Once you cut ties you are denying them access to you and what you could give them and the loss of you is not what they want at this time.

You’re not home free yet

If you believe ignoring them will make them go away you are kidding yourself, ignoring is just part of breaking the chains they hold.

Life will become quiet and happy for a while, you will think you are finally free, then 6 months, 12 months and longer goes by then BOOM!

‘Hi, just checking in to see how you are’ yes, they are back.

You then swear they are in your mind again as just the other day you thought about them and the life you had, honestly you would have been thinking about it anyway, its part of your healing, perhaps you are in therapy and doing your journal as part of the therapy.

This is often called the crisis point, as you are at the crossroads of past and future, it’s a delicate place to be. Don’t listen to any promises or statements that they have changed they haven’t. Don’t give in and take them back, do not even agree to meet for coffee, you have come so far, you have been so brave do not do this to yourself.

Above all love yourself

The biggest and most important thing you can do for yourself is to acknowledge the pain you endured, know you survived, know your worth and love yourself completely.

Become selfish there is nothing wrong with giving yourself self-care and not allowing anyone to take from you your time, your love, and your space. Learn to appreciate yourself and who you are.

If you feel you want to start dating again, go on the dates, if you feel no its not the right time, then okay it’s not the right time.

Do what feeds your soul, do what makes you happy, this is your life, you are back in control and no one is going to take that from you ever again.

Surviving is one thing, thriving is another, and you can do it, just believe in yourself.

You can find further articles on narcissism published on this site here

Helpline numbers and websites


If you do not find your state on this list, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline(link is external) to find a program in your area. You can call the hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).

The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are included in the list. Click on any state name to jump to its organizations. Click any organization name for program and contact information.

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virgin Islands | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming


Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Montgomery, AL)


Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Juneau, AK)


Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV)(link is external) (Phoenix, AZ)

Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Program(link is external) (Tucson, AZ)


Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Little Rock, AR)

Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Fayetteville, AR)


California Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Sacramento, CA)

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence(link is external) (Sacramento, CA)


Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Denver, CO)

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV)(link is external) (Denver, CO)


Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS)(link is external) (East Hartford, CT)

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV)(link is external) (East Hartford, CT)


Delaware Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC) (Wilmington, DE)

ContactLifeline, Inc.(link is external) (Wilmington, DE)

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Wilmington, DE)

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Washington, DC)

D.C. Rape Crisis Center(link is external) (Washington, DC)


Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV)(link is external) (Tallahassee, FL)

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Tallahassee, FL)


Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Decatur, GA)

Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault(link is external) (Atlanta, GA)


Sex Abuse Treatment Center(link is external) (Honolulu, HI)


Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence(link is external) (Boise, ID)


Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA)(link is external) (Springfield, IL)

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Springfield, IL)


Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Indianapolis, IN)


Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (Iowa CASA)(link is external) (Des Moines, IA)

Rape Victim Advocacy Program (Iowa)(link is external) (Iowa City, IA)

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Des Moines, IA)


Kansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence(link is external) (Topeka, KS)


Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs(link is external) (Frankfort, KY)

The Center for Women and Families(link is external) (Louisville, KY)


Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Hammond, LA)

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Baton Rouge, LA)


Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Augusta, ME)

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence(link is external) (Augusta, ME)

Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center(link is external) (Winthrop, ME)


Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Bowie, MD)

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc.(link is external) (Arnold, MD)


Jane Doe, Inc. – Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence(link is external) (Boston, MA)

Abby’s House(link is external) (Worchester, MA)


Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Okemos, MI)


Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (St. Paul, MN)

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women(link is external) (St. Paul, MN)


Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Jackson, MS)

Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Jackson, MS)


Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Jefferson City, MO)


Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Helena, MT)


Nebraska Coalition to end Sexual and Domestic Violence(link is external) (Lincoln, NE)


Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Reno, NV)

New Hampshire

Women’s Information Service (WISE)(link is external) (Lebanon, NH)

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Concord, NH)

Starting Point: Services for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Conway, NH)

New Jersey

New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Trenton, NJ)

New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence(link is external) (Trenton, NJ)

New Mexico

New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Albuquerque, NM)

New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs(link is external) (Albuquerque, NM)

New York

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Albany, NY)

NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (New York, NY)

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Albany, NY)

North Carolina

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Durham, NC)

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Raleigh, NC)

North Dakota

North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services/Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Bismarck, ND)


Ohio Domestic Violence Network(link is external) (Columbus, OH)

ACTION OHIO Coalition for Battered Women(link is external) (Columbus, OH)

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence(link is external) (Columbus, OH)


Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Oklahoma City, OK)


Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Portland, OR)


Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Harrisburg, PA)

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape(link is external) (Enola, PA)

Puerto Rico

Oficina de la Procuradora de las Mujeres(link is external) (San Juan, PR)

Puerto Rico Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer, Inc/Coalición Puertorriqueña contra la Violencia Doméstica y la Agresión Sexual)(link is external) (San Juan, PR)

Rhode Island

Day One Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center(link is external) (Providence, RI)

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Warwick, RI)

South Carolina

South Carolina Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence(link is external) (Columbia, SC)

South Dakota

South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Pierre, SD)

South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Sioux Falls, SD)


Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(link is external) (Nashville, TN)


Texas Association Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Austin, TX)

Texas Council On Family Violence(link is external) (Austin, TX)


Utah Domestic Violence Council(link is external) (Salt Lake City, UT)

Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault(link is external) (Salt Lake City, UT)


Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Montpelier, VT)

Virgin Islands

Women’s Coalition of St. Croix(link is external) (Christiansted, VI)


Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance(link is external) (Richmond, VA)


Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Seattle, WA)

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs(link is external) (Olympia, WA)

West Virginia

West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, Inc. (WV FRIS)(link is external) (Fairmont, WV)

West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence(link is external) (Elkview, WV)


End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin(link is external) (Madison, WI)


Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault(link is external) (Laramie, WY)


Domestic violence in Canada – Region Service Website Ontario Assaulted Women’s Helpline


GTA 416.863.0511
GTA TTY 416.364.8762
TOLL-FREE 1.866.863.0511
TOLL-FREE TTY 1.866.863.7868
#SAFE (#7233) on your Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus mobile phone


Pour les services en français, veuillez appeler FEM’AIDE (Ligne de soutien pour femmes violentées)

1.866.860.7082 (ATS)

Quebec SOS Spousal Abuse

British Columbia. Call TTY at 604-875-0885; to call collect, please call the Telus Relay Service at 711. Text to 604-836-6381. Email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca

Alberta Family Violence Info Line 24-hour help

Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger. Family violence is a crime.

Family Violence Information Line: 310-1818 to get help anonymously in more than 170 languages or find other supports.

Family violence includes physical, verbal, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, neglect, stalking or being kept from seeing other people or forced to stay in one place.


For confidential help and information on domestic violence, call 1-877-977-0007 or TTY 1-888-987-2829.

Island Help Line

(toll-free) 1-800-218-2885

24-hour free, bilingual, confidential service for all Islanders providing information, support, active listening, and crisis counselling on family matters, child abuse, alcohol and drugs, parenting, suicide, loneliness and other problems.

PEI Family Violence Prevention Services Inc

Anderson House

Charlottetown (902) 892-0960(toll-free) 1-800-240-9894

Anderson House is the provincial emergency shelter for women and children who are experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse in their lives. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff provide confidential one on one support and information.

Outreach Services
West Prince: (902) 859-8849
East Prince: (902) 436-0517
Eastern PEI: (902) 838-0795
Queens County: (902) 566-1480

A free and confidential service providing emotional support for women victimized by family violence.

PEI Rape & Sexual Assault Centre

Main Office (902) 566-1864, (toll free) 1-866-566-1864
Counselling Office (902) 368-8055, (toll free) 1-888-368-8055

Individual, trauma-informed counselling services for women and men, over age 16, who have experienced recent or historic child sexual abuse and sexual assault. Manages Men Matter, group programming for male survivors. Information and training workshops also provided.

Report Child Abuse

Daytime (toll-free) 1-877-341-3101After Hours (toll-free) 1-800-341-6868

Child Protection Social Workers assess reports of children who are at risk of being abused/neglected or have been abused, including exposure to domestic violence.

Chief Mary Bernard Memorial Women’s Shelter

Lennox Island (902) 831-2332(toll-free) 1-855-297-2332

Provides on-reserve, region-wide emergency housing to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women and their children who are experiencing family violence and to women who are homeless.

Salvation Army Bedford MacDonald House (for men)

184 Weymouth Street, Charlottetown
(902) 892-4777

Provides shelter and short-term residence for men who find themselves in a homeless situation.

The UK And Europe

United Kingdom ENGLAND: National Domestic Violence Freephone

Helpline 0808 2000 247

Rape Crisis helpline 0808 802 999

NORTHERN IRELAND: 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence

Helpline 0800 917 14 14

SCOTLAND: Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline Rape Crisis Scotland

Helpline 0800 027 1234080 88 01 03 020808 8010 302

WALES: Live Fear Free Helpline Rape Crisis Helpline 0800 8010 8000808 802 9999

http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/ The service is available to people living in England, Wales and Scotland. Opening hours Call us Monday – Friday 9am-5pm on freephone 0808 801 0327 Calls to 0808 80 numbers are free to call from landlines and mobile phones within the UK and do not appear on itemised bills. They are also free to call from BT payphones. Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Germany National Women’s Helpline 08000 116 016 Greece National Centre for Social Solidarity (E.K.K.A.) (for persons in different crisis situations, including domestic violence) 197 General Secretariat for Gender Equality 15 900


NaNE Helpline for Battered Women and Children 06 80 505 101+36 4 06 30 006 (for sexual violence)

Iceland Kvennaathvarfið shelter helpline 561 1205 Ireland National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 Italy Antiviolenza Donne 1522

Kosovo Direct Line for Victims of Violence 0800 11112 SOS Linja +381 39 033 00 98

Latvia* Center Marta for Trafficking Victims 800 2012 Crisis Helpline 6722292227722292 Children’s Trust Helpline 116 111

Liechtenstein Women’s Helpline Frauenhaus Liechtenstein +423 380 02 03

Lithuania* Women’s Line 8800 66 366

Luxembourg Fraentelefon 12 344

Macedonia National SOS Line 15 700 National SOS Line – Phone of Trust 15 315 SOS National Mobile Line +389 75 141 700+389 77 141 700+389 70 141 700

Malta* Appogg Agency Supportline 179

Moldova Trust Line 8008 8008

Montenegro SOS Helpline for Victims of Violence 080 111 111

Netherlands* Veilig Thuis (for victims of domestic violence and child abuse) 0800 2000

Norway* National Helpline for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

800 57 000July Crisis Situation Helpline 800 40 008

Poland* National Emergency Service for Survivors of Family Violence Blue Line 22 668 70 00 National Emergency Service for Survivors of Family Violence 801 12 00 02 Portugal* Serviço de Informação às Vitimas de Violéncia Doméstica 800 202 148

Romania* Bucharest: Sensi Blu Foundation 021 311 46 36

Bucharest: ADRA 021 25 25 117 Iasi: CMSC 023 225 29 20 Targu Mures: IEESR 026 521 16 99 Sibiu: A.L.E.G. 075 389 35 31 Baia Mare: Centru Artemis 0262 25 07 70 Timisoara: APFR 0256 29 3183

Russia ANNA (National Center for the Prevention of Violence) 08800 700 600

Serbia* Helpline for victims of domestic violence 0800 100 600

Network of Women’s Hotline in Vojvodina 0800 10 10 10

Slovakia National Line for Women Surviving Violence 0800 212 212 Slovenia SOS Helpline for Women and Children – Victims of Violence 080 11 55

Spain Helpline for Information and Legal Advice on Gender Violence 016

Sweden Terrafem 020 52 1010

Kvinnofridslinjen 020 50 50 50

Switzerland* Dargebotene Hand (crisis helpline) 143 Turkey Hürriyet Emergency Domestic Violence

Hotline +90 212 656 9696 Social Service Counseling Line for Family, Women, Children, and the Disabled 183

Ukraine Domestic Violence Counteraction and Child Rights Protection Helpline 0800 500 3350800 500 336

24hr Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid)

Freephone: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)


Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)


Women’s Aid Federation of England

Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)


The Hideout


Website for children and young people witnessing domestic violence.

Scottish Women’s Aid

Office: 0800 027 1234


Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

Helpline number: 0800 027 1234


Live Fear Free – All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline

Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 8010 800

Text service: 078600 77333

Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation

24hr Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414

Victim Support Helpline

Helpline: 0808 168 9111


National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline

Helpline: 0800 999 5428

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline

Helpline: 0800 999 5428

Sharan Project (South Asian Women Help & Support) Information Line: 0844 504 3231


Honour Network – Karma Nirvana

Helpline: 0800 599 9247


Karma Nirvana is a registered Charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based abuse

Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation

Helpline: Mon to Fri 9.30-5.30 0207 920 6460

Emergency numbers 24 hrs

Kurdish / Arabic 07846 275246

Farsi / Dari / Turkish 07846 310157



If you’re experiencing domestic violence, there are services available to help you regardless of where you live in Australia. The following domestic violence helplines can put you in touch with the right service for your needs or provide a listening ear. They’re available 24/7 nationally or locally in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, NT, TAS and ACT.
National support services If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.

ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT Phone: (02) 6280 0900

NSW Domestic Violence Line Phone: 1800 656 463

QLD DV Connect Phone: 1800 811 811

VIC Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre Phone: 1800 015 188 or 03 9322 3555 Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

WA Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline Phone: 1800 007 339 or (08) 9223 1188 Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline Phone: 1800 000 599 or (08) 9223 1199

SA Domestic Violence Crisis Services

TAS Family Violence Response Referral line Phone: 1800 633 937

Family Violence Counselling and Support Service Phone: 1800 608 122

NT Dawn House Phone: (08) 8945 1388

NT Domestic and Family Violence Services

Contact 1800 RESPECT to find out more information and get support. Call 000 if you’re in immediate danger. Trust your instincts. If you feel you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help.

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline

1800 880 052

An Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disability.
Call the free hotline on 1800 880 052.

Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380
Telephone counselling for adult survivors of childhood trauma, their friends, family and the health care professionals who support them. Call 1300 657 380 between 9am-5pm for counselling services or email at helpline@blueknot.org.au.

Australian Childhood Foundation 1800 176 453 / 03 9874 3922

Counselling for children and young people affected by abuse.
For information, email them at info@childhood.org.au.
For counselling services, call toll-free number 1800 176 453.

Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence Hotline 1800 019 123

Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491

This service from No to Violence offers assistance, information and counselling to help men who use family violence.
Call 1300 766 491 if you would like help with male behavioural and relationship concerns.

1800RESPECT 1800 737 732

24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
Call toll-free 1800 737 732.

New Zealand

free Crisis line on 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843

Women’s Refuge welcomes all women and children in New Zealand to use our services.