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 Sexual Violence Resource Center
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Teen Dating Violence
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 https://www.domesticshelters.org.
Finding Mental Health or Substance Use Treatment Services
- To find support related to mental health or substance use, including peer support resources (talking with someone who has experienced a mental health or substance use condition themselves), please see:
- To find a mental health provider who specializes in trauma: visit the Sidran Institute’s Help Desk.
- To find a mental health or substance use treatment provider who is knowledgeable about domestic violence, ask your local domestic violence program for a recommendation.
- Find your local program by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (P) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
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.