Victims of domestic violence do not need to call the police or initiate any criminal justice proceedings in order to receive services from a local domestic violence program.

Callers to local domestic violence programs do not have to provide their name to receive general information. However, if the caller wants to receive services like shelter and advocacy, the caller will usually be asked to complete an intake, which requires providing a name and other detail necessary to provide the service. In most intakes, victims of domestic violence will be asked for their name, their children’s name(s) (if applicable), the approximate date of the last incident of domestic violence, information about any current court proceedings, and what service they want to access. The advocate that completes the intake will be able to let you know what services they have available for you.

Domestic violence services are confidential. The only time information will not be kept confidential is if there is a report that children are being abused or neglected.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When choosing to get help, it is always important to understand that even though advocates are available at non-domestic violence agencies, these advocates may not be held to the same confidentiality requirements as a domestic violence advocate.