People often think of domestic violence as physical abuse, such as shoving, slapping, choking, kicking, using weapons, and murder. However, domestic violence also includes many more behaviors, such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and economic abuse. Power and control are at the center of all domestic violence incidents. 

If you are fearful of physical or verbal abuse from a household member, the law provides significant support for you. In those situations, call the police directly. A police officer will assist you in learning about how the law protects you, what kind of resources are available to you, and if necessary will take action to help you obtain an emergency restraining order and provide for your physical safety.  

If you are a survivor of domestic violence, you have access to resources that may help you, such as: 

 Hotlines to help you find resources available to you 
 Safe and confidential shelter 
 Planning for your safety 
 Legal assistance 

NOTE: Information on computers, phones and other electronic devices may be traceable. If you're worried about your abuser tracking your steps this way, it may be best to use a public computer, such as in a library and avoid using e-mail or social media.

See our hyperlinks for additional resources, or contact Deputy Chief Rachael Bielecki our Domestic Violence Officer at

National Hotlines

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); TTY (1-800-787-3224)

National Sexual Violence Resource Center 1-877-739-3895

Statewide Hotlines

Massachusetts Statewide Hotline Program Domestic Violence SafeLink Multilingual 1-877-785-2020 

Jane Doe, Inc./Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence phone 617-248-0922 hotline 877-785-2020

Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN) 888-399-6111

Local Resources

The Center for Hope and Healing Lowell phone 978-452-7721 hotline 800-542-5212 - for victims of rape and sexual violence; counseling, medical and legal advocacy, and other resources

Alternative House - Lowell - Crisis Line 888-291-6228 non-emergency 978-454-1436 Housing, emergency shelter, support groups, legal advocacy

YWCA Central Massachusetts Domestic Violence Services 978-537-2306 HOTLINE 508-755-9030 online chat helpline emergency shelter, safeplan/court advocacy, support groups, short term counseling and advocacy 

LGBTQ Resources

LGBT National Help Center many different resources for LBGTQ, national, local, hotlines, chat rooms, etc

The Network/LA Red survivor led organizing to end partner abuse for LBGTQ

Living in Freedom Together 108 Beacon Street Worcester, MA 01608 Phone: 774-243-6025 

survivor-led organization comprised of those who have overcome commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), and professionals sensitive to the needs of this vulnerable and marginalized population. 

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