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A person who harms you could discover your email and internet activity. A safer way to use the internet might be to use a public computer (e.g., at the library), a friend’s computer, or a computer at work. Learn more about technology safety and how to increase your privacy.

Experiencing abuse can affect how we feel and how we respond to other people and the world around us. If someone is abusing you, you might feel scared, hurt, sad, confused, angry, embarrassed, or hopeless. Many people have feelings like these when they are being abused or after leaving an abusive relationship.

The person who harms you may say something is wrong with you, that you are “crazy,” or that no one will believe you because of your mental health or substance use history.

They may force you to use alcohol or other substances, control your access to those substances, or interfere with your access to recovery supports. You might use alcohol or other substances to survive and cope with the abuse.

To learn more about how abuse might affect your mental health and how someone who harms you may use mental health or substance use as part of abuse and control, click on the resources below.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-72331-800-787-3224 (TTY)

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

Teen Dating Violence

Key Resources

For more information about supporting a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship, see When Someone You Know is Being Abused.

Finding a Domestic Violence Advocate or Program

If you or someone you know needs help locating local resources for survivors of domestic violence or their families, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (P) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). You can also find a domestic violence agency in your area by searching

Finding Mental Health or Substance Use Treatment Services

For a list of national, state, and Chicago-based organizations that provide additional resources on domestic and sexual violence, mental health, and substance use, visit our External Resource Directory.

The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health offers training and technical assistance to advocates and service providers who work with survivors and their families. We do not provide counseling or direct services.