“You are so stupid nobody would ever want you!”

“Just try to leave me and I will kill you!”

“You will never see the kids again!”

Q. Is verbal and emotional abuse domestic violence?
A. Yes. Emotional and verbal abuse is abuse and should not be tolerated.

Q. Isn’t the abused partner equally at fault?
A. No. In a relationship fraught with violence and controlling behavior there is an aggressor—and a victim who is being controlled most of the time.

Q. Is domestic violence mostly physical?
A. No. Domestic violence also includes psychological, mental, sexual and economic abuse.

Q. Does drinking alcohol or using drugs cause domestic violence?
A. No. They can escalate abuse by lowering inhibitions but neither cause batterers to abuse a partner. Under the law, being intoxicated does not excuse abusive behavior.

Q. Is domestic violence a bigger problem for poor people or minorities?
A. No. Oftentimes domestic violence is not reported in high-income families. Study after study shows that it is a significant problem for all nationalities, economic classes and religions.

Q. Is this a new problem?
A. Domestic violence has been around for thousands of years. It was largely ignored up until recent decades. Today the focus on prevention, intervention and ongoing support allows the healing to begin sooner—and lives to flourish.

Q. How long can someone stay in your shelter?
A. Each individual who seeks services is different and has unique needs. Shelter stay is assessed on a case by case basis.

Q. Will I get a bill?
A. Mutual Ground does not charge for any of its services.

Q. I have a dog. What can I do to protect her?
A. Mutual Ground makes arrangements to care for your pets.

Q. I really feel like my life is in danger.
A. Call 911. Last year, 80 people were killed by their abusers in Illinois.

Q. Should I buy a gun?
A. Firearms are not the answer and best left for professionals who are trained in their use. A loaded gun in a household prone to domestic violence is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Q. Does Mutual Ground help men?
A. We do help men both in the domestic violence and sexual assault programs. Although we do not house men in our shelter, we can provide them with emergency shelter elsewhere.

Do you have a question about domestic violence or sexual abuse? Click here to contact us.