Domestic violence in California: resources for survivors, advocates, and allies

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or find your local domestic violence organization: California domestic violence organizations by county.

An illustration of a woman standing in a room, holding an infant, while her smaller children cluster around her. The mood is melancholy and fearful.

Domestic violence isn’t a private matter. Thinking of it that way keeps it hidden and allows it to continue. It is all of our business. And it is preventable. While domestic violence can and does happen in every community, we know that prevention efforts are most effective when they understand that domestic violence is both a cause and a result of systemic issues like poverty, racial and gender inequity, and homelessness. This means solutions must include sectors not always associated with domestic violence — like banking, social welfare, and housing. Fortunately, that is starting to happen.

At Blue Shield of California Foundation, we see solutions emerging across our state — solutions that embrace prevention of domestic violence, by addressing its root causes and through healing so we stop it from occurring and reoccurring. We believe healing is prevention for the next generation.

Progress to end domestic violence requires a broad range of solutions from the community to the systems level. Public systems — such as our health, housing, employment, child welfare, and criminal justice systems — can and must be more responsive to the priorities and needs of the communities most impacted.

Learn more about our approach to break the cycle of multigenerational violence.

How you can help

  • Use your voice. The silence around domestic violence makes it harder for survivors to get the help they need. By starting the conversation with your friends, family, and neighbors, you can help end the silence. 
  • Get involved. Contact your local domestic violence organization or shelter and ask how you can help in your community.
  • Be an advocate. Learn the warning signs, and if someone you know needs help, refer them to a local organization. Remember, not everyone will need the same type of support — whether they are ready to leave the relationship or not, let them know they’re not alone. Also check out how to identify and intervene in teen dating violence.
  • Survivor Support. Find information about seeking professional help, finding housing, legal assistance, and free or low-cost resources.
  • Donate and volunteer. Whether it’s through financial support or volunteering your time, you can help your local domestic violence organization. And you’ll know where to refer someone if you ever need to. 
  • Get informed. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online at The hotline isn’t just for those in crisis — you can call to get resources or information about domestic violence, or just to talk with someone if you’re questioning unhealthy aspects of a relationship, whether it’s yours or a loved one’s. The hotline's website also provides in-depth national domestic violence statistics.

Sharing authentic stories

Often in mainstream media, domestic violence is portrayed as a private matter, without analysis of the factors that allow it to persist or the roles that all of us can play in preventing it. The voices of survivors are rarely heard — or may be exploited.


Part 1: Martha's story: our rallying cry
A story that affirms our core belief: that multiple systems are a part of the story of domestic violence, and therefore a part of its prevention. Read more
Part 2: Martha's three sons
Despite her concerns for her own and her children’s safety, Martha saw no choice but to live in her car. Read more
Part 3: Martha's health and healing
Once her children were taken away from her, Martha fell into a deep depression. Read more

Learn more

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