Domestic Abuse - ACCESS - Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support

Domestic Abuse

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Domestic Violence Crisis Line:  515-292-0519 or Toll Free 855-983-4641


What is domestic violence?  

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, abusive, and threatening behaviors aimed at gaining power and control over an intimate partner.  Violent behaviors include cutting the victim off from family and friends, sexual assaults, and manipulation, of personal relationships, and exploitation of authority over children. While physical assault may occur infrequently, other forms of abuse may occur daily.  Domestic violence forces victim/survivors to make choices based on how their partner may harm them.

Domestic violence crosses all class, race, lifestyle and religious lines. The only clear distinction is gender. Though same sex battering occurs about as often as in other couples, 95% of the victims of domestic violence in heterosexual couples are women battered by male partners.


ACCESS provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL support to victims of domestic violence.  This includes:

  • Call our 24-hour crisis line: 1-855-983-4641. Reach out for a victim, friend, family or for support. Our trained advocates are ready to help discuss options for their immediate safety and wellbeing.
  • Housing advocacy: ACCESS can help in assessing a victim’s current living situation, and can assist in making a plan to improve their safety. This may mean seeking funds for rent assistance so that a victim can stay in her/his own home, assistance in relocating to a safer place, or financial counseling to help a victim organize her/his resources to increase stability.
  • Response: In-person, 24/7 response to victim in need, such as when reporting domestic violence to law enforcement or a medical provider, or to another location where a victim is seeking help.
  • Civil Legal Advocacy: support and education in civil legal cases such filing an order of protection or pursuing custody for the protection children.
  • Criminal Justice Advocacy: support to a victim as she/he reports a crime, or is involved in later proceedings relating to the crime such as meetings with attorneys or court hearings.
  • Systems Advocacy: assistance to a victim in seeking help from, or explaining needs to,  systems  such as the Department of Human Services, schools, workplaces, or counseling providers.
  • Community education and training: ACCESS is prepared to help all community members engage in the fight against domestic violence. By working to enhance the community’s awareness and educating community members on professional skills, we increase protection for victims.

Domestic Abuse Counseling:  

An advocate can provide counseling to assist a survivor of domestic violence in recognizing the impact of abuse, in identifying the strength that she/he had in surviving this abuse, and to provide resources that can be utilized for long term healing and growth.  Whenever possible, ACCESS strives to connect a survivor to a long-term specialized resource such as a counselor or therapist.  In addition, or instead, we hope to help a survivor build informal supports in her/his own life.  We can provide education and support to family members, friends, neighbors, or supports in a faith community.  

All services to victims of domestic abuse are voluntary.  The goal of ACCESS is to help a survivor decide what course of actions she/he is ready to take and to prepare for these steps through education, support, and empowerment.

Help Someone

If you know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, here are a few things to keep in mind while you work to support them:

  • Believe them.
  • Affirm that it's a good thing they're talking about it. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to talk about something so personal.
  • Listen - without judging.
  • Let them know that you support and care about them, and that they are not responsible for the violence.
  • Empower them to make their own choices about what steps to take next.  Remember, their choices and freedom were taken away - they have a right to control over their own life.
  • Educate them about ACCESS services.  If you'd like to know more about our services, use the number below to speak with an advocate.

Support Groups

ACCESS consistently offers support groups for different needs, including domestic abuse. Please check back or call 515-292-0500 for updated information.

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