|TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.|
This is intended to be a list of general resources on intimate partner, family, and other interpersonal abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. These resources are drawn from the general literature on abuse, trauma, and recovery rather than being geek-specific.
- 1 About abuse: forms it takes and how abusers think
- 2 Staying safe, getting help and recovering
- 3 Being an ally to victims/survivors
- 4 Societal issues
About abuse: forms it takes and how abusers think
Intimate partner abuse
"Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft
- "An angry and controlling man can be like a vacuum cleaner that sucks up a woman’s mind and life."
- heterocentric but with a small amount of queer content (and strong acknowledgement of the limitations of the content)
- contains actionable information on risk assessment when leaving abusive relationships
Abusers who are narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths
Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed" by Wendy T. Behary.
Violence in general
The Gift of Fear or read the Wikipedia article. STRONG DISCLAIMER This book is amazing, but the chapter on domestic violence is full of victim-blaming bullshit. It is an extremely worthwhile read otherwise, but either skip that chapter entirely, or read it with the knowledge that the author grew up in a violently abusive household and clearly hasn't gotten his stuff sorted out around domestic violence.
Staying safe, getting help and recovering
Purple Berets Resources and advocacy for women whose abusers are in law enforcement.
MOSAIC Threat Assessment - based on the work of Gavin De Becker, MOSAIC allows people in abusive situations to assess the potential for escalation of violence in their particular situation.
Hotlines and helplines
Hotlines and helplines are telephone numbers — and sometimes email and IM services — where you can call to discuss your situation with a volunteer crisis counsellor. Some design their programs to let you talk without judgement, others are more goal-directed (such as helping you find emergency support). Most will speak to callers whether or not they are in crisis.
List of hotlines (US numbers)
List of hotlines (except where otherwise indicated, these seem to be US numbers)
What to expect when you call a helpline/hotline. A guest post on Captain Awkward that runs through some examples of experiences with hotlines.
RAINN - the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (United States) — RAINN operates a hotline (phone and web) and referral service, as well as having a ton of resources on issues around sexual violence. Though they have relatively recently included gender identity language in their non-discrimination policy, the trans-inclusiveness of the organizations they refer callers to may still vary.
TransLifeLine - A hotline for trans* and gender non-conforming people, staffed by TGNC-identified operators. Callers can seek help related to harassment, assault, sexual abuse, discrimination, daily stressors, etc.
Trans-inclusive resources for survivors (archive link)
Information about keystroke loggers, spyware, and communicating safely:
- National Network to End Domestic Violence: Internet and Computer Safety [USA]
- Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Internet Safety [USA]
- DomesticViolence Resource Centre Victoria: Tip Sheet: Technology Safety Planning [Australia]
Mental health and trauma
MoodGym - Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression - this isn't specific to trauma survivors, but cognitive therapy is frequently used in cases of post-traumatic stress.
How to locate low-cost mental health care in the US and Canada has a list of resources for accessing mental health care.
Many (United States?) employers have "Employee Assistance Programs" which provide a set number of counselling sessions separate from whatever mental health care may be included in one's health insurance. You typically call the EAP on the phone, and they will provide counselling on the phone right then and/or refer you to a counselor to meet in person. As much as they can, they will find a counselor who meets the parameters you give them, eg. feminist, LGBTQ friendly, kink-aware, poly-aware, experience working with particular types of trauma, etc.
Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman. Lundy Bancroft describes this as the "masterwork" on the topic. It is written from a feminist perspective and psychoanalytic background.
Being an ally to victims/survivors
"Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women" by Susan Brewster
Abuse in activist communities
Without My Consent - American non-profit focused on issues around non-consensual publication of private images. Points to relevant laws in all US states regarding this issue.
Many survivors of abuse worry about repeating the patterns they learned in the abuse in their relationships with their children. Please add resources on this topic