If you think you may be experiencing abuse, there is a network of local shelters and community programs that are here for you.
You can call Georgia’s 24/7 domestic violence hotline at 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY to talk to a domestic violence advocate.
You can share as little or as much as you feel comfortable, and the advocate will support you and help you plan for your safety. It is very important to plan for your safety especially if you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, because leaving can be dangerous. Sometimes when a person leaves an abusive relationship or plans to leave an abusive relationship, the abuser feels threatened because they may be losing power and control over the person they abuse. Many abusers react more violently when their victim is trying to leave to try to regain the power and control over their victim. Please be careful if you are considering leaving by calling an advocate to discuss a plan for your safety.
Advocates that answer the domestic violence hotline are trained to discuss your options and work with you to find solutions so that your family can be safe. Although each domestic violence program in Georgia is different, many programs can offer you:
Shelters are safe, confidential places that assist individuals that have experienced domestic violence. They provide a temporary place for you and your children to stay until you decide what you want to do. Shelters in Georgia can provide your pets with with safe foster care in a confidential location off-site or at the shelter, depending on the resources your local shelter can provide. Shelters provide free food and housing for you and your children. Even if you do not need shelter, they can provide services such as planning for safety, legal advocacy, support groups, children’s advocacy, and public assistance. They may also assist you with your other needs such as finding a job or a permanent place to stay.
Georgia’s shelters strive to empower you so that you can make decisions that are best for you and your family. Please call 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY to be connected to a domestic violence advocate in Georgia. Click here if you wish to contact your nearest shelter by their direct local number.
A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) offers a legal remedy to victims who have been abused. A TPO is a civil court action in which a judge orders your abuser to stay away from you and to not contact you by any means. Generally when a TPO has been issued, your abuser will be required to attend a 24 week Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP.) When you file a TPO, you can ask for possession of the family home, the custody of your children and pets, child support, and other relief. As a part of a TPO, the judge may remove your abuser from your home, require your abuser to attend an FVIP, and, if applicable, order your abuser not to interfere with your immigration status. If a non-citizen, the TPO could possibly lead to the deportation of your abuser if the TPO is violated.
Although an abuser is ultimately responsible for violent actions, a TPO can help bring criminal charges to a person that violates a TPO and tries to contact a victim of domestic violence. To learn more about how to obtain a TPO in your area, we recommend that you call 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY or contact your nearest shelter by their direct local number.
If you or your loved ones have been physically injured, raped, stalked, or harassed, the state may press criminal charges or get a criminal warrant against your abuser. If prosecuted, your abuser could be arrested and possibly imprisoned. The abuser may also be ordered to attend a 24-week Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP.) You may be eligible for support and services from the Victim Witness Program or Crime Victim Compensation.
Be aware that some criminal charges could lead to the deportation of abusers that are non-U.S. citizens. If you have specific questions or concerns about filing or responding to criminal charges against someone that has been abusive to you, GCADV recommend that you talk to a trusted legal advocate or attorney. To contact a domestic violence advocate, please call 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY.
GCADV wants to empower you with information to help keep you and your family safe. To learn more about the domestic violence program in your area, please click here for links to their websites. Some programs in Georgia are designed to provide unique resources for people and pets affected by domestic violence. Please click here to learn more about these community-based programs.