Intimate Partner Violence

Contact Us

Women’s Center Department of Counseling
John Jay College of Criminal Justice 
Room L.67.10
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 237-8184
Fax: (212) 484-1319

Monday 10am-5pm
Tuesday 10am-6pm
Wednesday 10am-6pm
Thursday 10am-5pm
Friday 10am-5pm

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How do I know if I am in a violent relationship?

Intimate partner violence is not about love, it’s about power and control. Although it can include physical abuse, you can be a victim without ever having been hit. Does your partner:

  • Control where you go, with whom you talk, and who comes to see you?
  • Isolate you from family and friends?
  • Control your money?
  • Call you names, criticize you, humiliate you in front of others and make you feel crazy?
  • Are you afraid of your partner’s temper?
  • Has your partner threatened you, your children, pets or your family?
  • Has your partner threatened to out you in any way (sexual orientation, immigration status, etc)?
  • Does your partner show up unexpectedly or call you repeatedly?
  • Has your partner forced you to have sex when you don't want to, made you engage in sexual acts that make you uncomfortable, or forced you to engage in prostitution?
  • Does your partner blame you for his/her abuse?
  • Do you make excuses for your partner’s behavior?

If so, you may be in a violent relationship.


2.What can I do if I’m in a violent relationship?

  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs - avoid rooms with no exits (ex: bathroom), or rooms with weapons (ex: kitchen).
  • Make a list of safe people to contact.
  • Establish a "code word" or "sign.” Share your word or sign with trusted family, friends, teachers or co-workers, so they will know when to call for help when you use it.
  • Keep money, a credit card and identification (yours and your children’s) with you at all times.
  • Memorize all important numbers.
  • Think about what to say to your partner if he\she becomes violent, knowing you cannot control it.
  • File police reports for all abuse and stalking incidents and consider getting an Order of Protection from your local precinct. This will enable you to have your partner arrested if he/she comes near you.
  • Notify school and work contacts and respective security offices. Whether or not you have an order of protection, it’s important to go to Security to give them information about the threats. Security is located at 530T. Security website.
  • If you do leave the relationship, change locks, if the partner has a key.
    (Safe Horizon provides free lock replacement. Visit for more information).
  • Important papers you should take include:
    • Social security cards and birth certificates (for you and your children)
    • Your marriage license
    • Leases or deeds (in your name or both yours and your partner's names)
    • Your checkbook, charge cards and bank statements
    • Insurance policies
    • Proof of income (for you and your partner if you lived together pay stubs or W-2's)
    • Any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)


How can I help a friend who’s in a violent relationship?

  • Listen. Avoid making judgments and giving advice.
  • Validate feelings and concerns. It’s common for survivors of domestic violence to have intense and/or mixed feelings about the batterer and the abusive relationship. Let your friend know that these feelings are normal.
  • Take the situation seriously. If you are concerned about a friend’s safety, tell her/him so. Offer to help to contact the local police precinct or call 911.
  • Help with safety planning. Help gather important documents and papers (social security cards, birth certificates, marriage license, insurance policies, etc.) and to make a list of names and telephone numbers of emergency resources.
  • Connect her/him with other resources. Locate an agency in your friend’s neighborhood that provides supportive services such as counseling, public assistance and temporary housing.
  • Support and respect decisions. Be patient and respect your friend’s decisions, even if you don't agree with them.

5. Go to our resource page for more services.

KNOW THAT THESE TIPS ARE NO GUARANTEE OF YOUR SAFETY, and should not be used as a substitute for reaching out to a trained service provider. Come to the Women’s Center or contact one of the resources listed on our resource page for more comprehensive services.