There are many groups that can help you. There are also laws to protect victims from being abused. First, we list some agencies and groups that can help you. Then we explain the laws that protect victims and how you can use the laws to protect yourself.
Domestic Violence Groups
There are sixteen domestic violence groups in Vermont. The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is a statewide group that works for abuse victims. Find your local domestic violence group here.
Domestic violence groups can help you make a safety plan and give you emotional support. Most programs have advocates who can guide you through the Relief from Abuse process and offer emotional support at court. They may be able to give you financial help so you can stay in a motel, pay for day care, pay for transportation, or even pay a security deposit for housing. Each domestic violence group is different. Contact your local group to find out how they can help you.
Police / Law Enforcement
Nobody has the right to abuse you. You can call the police if someone physically hurts you or tries to hurt you. You don’t have to call the police right when the person hurts you, but it’s best to call as soon as you can. You can call 911 or call your local police station.
Some abuse is a crime. The state may prosecute your abuser in criminal court.
Did someone scare you by what they said or did to you? You can report this to the police. The police may not be able to do anything, but it can be good to tell the police now in case the problem gets worse later.
If you want, get medical care as soon as possible for any injury. Bring copies of your medical records to the court for your final hearing if you ask for a Relief from Abuse Order. Before giving the records to the court, make sure that your Social Security Number is completely crossed out.
You can contact us at Vermont Law Help for help. Call 1-800-889-2047 or fill out our form. If your abuser has access to your computer, call us instead of using the online form.
Do you live in the Burlington area? There is a free legal clinic at Legal Services Law Line of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. You can get free legal help there. Call us at 1-800-889-2047 to check on the schedule.
You can view a list of other legal clinics and projects around Vermont on the Vermont Bar Association website. See the link at the bottom of this VBA web page.
Adult Protective Services
Are you a senior citizen? Do you have a disability? Are you being abused? Vermont has an agency called Adult Protective Services. It’s their job to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. You may qualify for help from them. They can explain your options and may investigate your abuse.