Breaking the cycle: How to help survivors of domestic abuse

Domestic Violence Awareness

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Experts say that domestic violence often starts with isolation from family and friends. That isolation can leave survivors feeling alone and unsupported.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 10 On Your Side is dedicated to helping break the cycle of abuse. All month long, we’ll share facts, tips and resources so you can help break the cycle of domestic violence, too.

So, what can you do if someone you love tells you they’re being abused?

Leslie Jingluski with the Avalon Center says it’s important to believe them and validate their feelings — so they know they aren’t alone.

“The most important thing you can do as a friend, as a family member, as a resource for that person is validation. Many times you will have a survior of domestic violence talk about things, and they’re seeking validation and I think that validation is important to understand that your gut is important. Your gut feelings are there for a reason. It’s animalistic. It’s a protection mode,” said Jingluski, the community engagement coordinator for the Avalon Center.

Next, Jingluski says it’s important to empower your survivor with resources such as the phone number to a national, state, or area domestic violence hotline.


10 On Your Side has compiled a list of local and national resources for residents to fight and prevent domestic violence and child abuse.

In the United States, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) including sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic Violence Prevention Resources

10 On Your Side is committed to help Break The Cycle of domestic violence in Hampton Roads. 

Here is a link to all of the local groups or agencies we have highlighted. The page also shares testimonials of survivors.

Here are some local and national resources for victims in need of help.

Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton

YWCA South Hampton Roads in Norfolk

LGBTQ Life Center in Norfolk

  • Provides: Intimate partner abuse counseling and support group, safety planning, crisis intervention and education sessions. Assistance with emergency housing and legal services. Youth services and support groups.
  • 757-640-0929
  • info@lgbtlifecenter.org

Military Family Advocacy Program in Norfolk

  • Provides: Prevention of family violence, victim safety/protection, offender accountability, rehabilitative education/counseling, and command intervention
  • 757-444-2230
  • Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA)after hours: 757-438-4180

Avalon Center in Williamsburg

  • Phone: 757-258-5022
  • Offers transitional housing, emergency shelter, youth services, legal advice, and counseling.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 757- 258-5051

Samaritan House Inc. in Virginia Beach

  • Phone: 757-631-0710
  • Offers counseling, emergency shelter placement, and safety planning.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline 757-430-2120

HER Shelter in Portsmouth

  • Phone: 757-485-1445
  • Offers emergency services, court assistance, shelter, employment, housing assistance.
  • Hotline: 757-485-3384

Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • Hotline number: 757-787-1329
  • Offers: an emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, individual counseling, safety planning, children’s services, legal advocacy, accompaniment during hospital visits and court appearances and support groups to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Website: https://www.escadv.org/ 

National Domestic Violence Hotline1−800−799−7233

Virginia Domestic Abuse Hotline1-800-838-8238

About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said that they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18.

At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year and in 2018 nearly 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States, according to the CDC.

Prevent Child Abuse America – Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others.

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. For more information on preventing child abuse and neglect check out resources from the CDC or call The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 for help.

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