How to Find a Battered Women's Shelter

Getting yourself and your children to safety must be your primary concern.

Phone 911 if you are in immediate danger.

Leave as soon as possible if you or your children are in danger. If you must leave without your possessions, do so. Safety should be your primary concern.

Remember that this situation is not your fault. Focus on finding safety.

Call your local police or sheriff's department. The department should be able to refer you to a shelter in your area, and may even be able to provide transportation. Report the violence to the police or sheriff's department, and obtain a restraining order from a criminal court.

Contact your local family court. The staff there should know where to find shelter. You can go to the court and file a complaint or petition to obtain a family court restraining order. Often a court will hear this type of petition on a preliminary basis as soon as you file it.

Ask your local YWCA if it provides or knows who provides shelter in your area.

Find the number for a local homeless shelter and ask the staff there for information about a family violence shelter. If you are desperate and don't know where else to go, this type of shelter may be able to take you in, at least temporarily.

Go online to the Family Violence Prevention Fund ( and click on "Getting Help" at the bottom of the page. This will help you locate a shelter in your area. You can also call (800) 799-SAFE to find out how to contact a family violence program in your area.