Standing With LGBTQ+ Survivors | NYC Pride 2020

Intimate partner violence, like other forms of abuse­, does not discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

Intimate partner violence, like other forms of abuse­, does not discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

In honor of PRIDE, we’re hoping to bring attention to how intimate partner violence affects the LGBTQ+ community. We also want to remind our fellow New Yorkers that Sanctuary’s services are free and available to ALL individuals regardless of race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, national origin, citizenship status, or marital status. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help.

Keep reading to learn more about safety planning and download our guide by clicking here.

Sanctuary at NYC Pride 2019

Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community

Abuse occurs in LGBTQ+ relationships at similar or even higher rates than in the general population. According to a 2010 CDC survey, the lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) is significantly higher for bisexual women (61%) compared to that of lesbian (43%) and heterosexual women (35%).[1] Lesbian women and gay men also reported experiencing levels of sexual and intimate partner abuse similar to or higher than those of their straight counterparts.

Although data on IPV in the transgender community is much more limited, studies suggest that 31 to 50 percent of transgender people suffer from intimate partner abuse at some point in their lives, compared to 28 to 33 percent in the general population.[2] One study found the prevalence of IPV experienced by trans women in the past year to be twice as high as that of trans men (16% vs. 8%), a finding consistent with the higher prevalence of intimate partner abuse among women in general.[3]

While it is often assumed that abusers are either the male or more masculine-presenting partner in a relationship, it is important to note that violence can be perpetrated by any individual regardless of their physical or personal attributes.[4]In the CDC study, for example, bisexual and heterosexual survivors, of various genders, overwhelmingly reported having only perpetrators of a different gender.

At Sanctuary for Families, we recognize that LGBTQ+ individuals’ experiences of abuse are too often ignored or dismissed. We also know that members of this community face unique barriers to seeking help because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression. These may include the risk of rejection and isolation from family and friends; fear of being outed by their partner in retaliation; misconceptions about abuse in same-sex relationships; homelessness and trauma from police brutality; lack of confidence in service providers due to potential homophobia; limited availability of or awareness about LGBTQ-specific or LGBTQ-friendly services; among others. Trans people, in particular, have been impacted by COVID-19, including increased unemployment and homelessness, while also struggling to find adequate medical care and support.

Every day, we at Sanctuary strive to create a welcoming environment that fosters compassion and mutual respect where all survivors can find safety and stability as they rebuild their lives in the aftermath of abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Safety Planning: A Guide for Survivors, by Survivors

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The following Safety Planning Guide was created by members of Sanctuary’s Survivor Leadership program and has been reviewed by multiple clinicians. The guide draws from survivors’ and clinicians’ expertise, as well as from safety planning models from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Sanctuary for Families, and Love is Respect.


Download this guide with safety tips from survivors.

What Is a Safety Plan?

A safety plan is a set of steps you can take to reduce the risk of harm in unsafe situations with an abuser or family member. With the changes in our environments due to coronavirus, we advise survivors of gender-based violence to consider the following safety tips created by survivors.  Sanctuary for Families’ team of Survivor Leaders put this list together in hopes of providing digital tools for safety during this time.

Why Should I Create a Safety Plan?

It can be hard to think and react in a time of emergency or high stress, especially with the added stress and uncertainty of coronavirus, so it is helpful to create a plan in advance. It is also important to update your safety plan often, as circumstances can change.  Abusers often try to have power and control over a survivor’s life, and a safety plan is one way a survivor can have power and control over their own situation, as much as they can.  Having a plan can empower you to make the safest decisions you can for your situation.

You are the Expert

You know your situation better than anyone, so please individualize your safety plan to what feels safest for you.  If something does not feel safe, trust your instincts.  For example, it may not be safe to complete a safety plan in writing, but you can still review one in your head and memorize it as best you can.  It can also be helpful to go over your safety plan with a trusted friend or relative.

Digital Safety

Please try to use a safer computer or phone that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to.  Digital stalking is one way for abusers to try to exert power and control. Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call instead. If you use email or texting, please use a safer computer or phone and an account your abuser does not know about.

For more information on computers, the internet, and digital safety, click here.

Increased risk of harm due to COVID-19

As many of us are practicing social distancing and quarantine, there are many additional risks for survivors and their safety, such as:

  • Isolation: Abusers can use this time to further isolate survivors from their loved ones. They may also use this as a time to further restrict a survivor’s movement in person, controlling where they go and when. They might also control a survivor’s interactions online, limiting their access to the outside world.
  • Restricting Access to Information: Abusers may also restrict access to the news and other outlets, making themselves the source of all information.
  • Increased Abuse: The abuse may worsen during this time as survivors may be spending more time in contact with their abusers. Survivors may also experience new or different types of abuse during this time.
  • In-Person and Digital Stalking: Abusers might try to exert their power by trying to monitor, control and stalk survivors in person and digitally.
  • Financial Abuse: Many individuals are experiencing financial burdens due to being unable to work, and abusers may further financially exploit survivors during this time.
  • Parenting: Survivors who co-parent their children with their abusers may be facing unique challenges during these times, such as barriers to visitation and/or increased exposure to the abuser due to lack of accessible childcare.  For example, in order for a survivor to work, he/she/they may need to utilize their abuser for childcare.


1. Buddy System Code Word

Identify at least two people that you can contact with a “code word” to let them know if you are in trouble. Plan in advance what they should do if you send them the code word.

2. “Safest Room”

If there is an argument, identify an area of the home you can move to where there are no weapons and there are ways for you to leave the house, apartment, or building, such as a door or window to exit the house/apartment. For some survivors, especially those quarantined at home with an abuser during coronavirus, no room may feel safe, so we call it the “safest rooms”. If you can at least identify the lowest risk areas, you may be able to reduce harm.

3. Planning with Children

  • Code Words: If you have children, decide how to communicate urgency. For example, when one survivor’s daughter was little, the survivor would open her arms and the daughter knew that meant to come running to her for safety.  Some survivors also create a “code word” with their children that means they should go to the “safest room” in the home that you have already decided upon.
  • Emergency Numbers: If for some reason you are not able to make emergency calls and you have children, give them the safety number/s, if they are old enough. Please see the Resources section listed below for some emergency phone numbers.

4. Notifying the Police Before an Emergency

Ahead of time, you can notify your local police station of your concerns. Let them know the history and your concern of being in isolation due to coronavirus. It may be useful to speak with the Domestic Violence officer.

5. Exit Plan

In case you have to flee, create an exit plan ahead of time with someone who could support this need. Is there a trusted friend/relative who you can stay with if needed?

6. Supplies, Food & Medication

Check your supplies and food. If you need food and do not have the money, check your local pantry, temple/church/mosque/etc., or other community organizations. Remember to keep your medication in the safest, easily accessible location in case of emergency.

7. Emergency Bag

Pack an emergency bag with an extra set of keys, clothes for you and your children, a pay-as-you-go cell phone, medications, copies of important documents, etc.

8. Important Documents

Make copies or take pictures of your important documents for yourself and send them to a trusted friend or relative. Important documents may include IDs, social security cards, immigration documents, birth certificates, health insurance information, and Orders of Protection.  As mentioned earlier, be mindful of sending anything via phone or computer.  Please use whatever method is safest for you.

9. Seeking Social Support

With social distancing and quarantining, survivors can feel even more isolated, and abusers may use further isolation as a power and control tactic. Identify trusted friends, relatives or even online support groups where you can still connect virtually.  If you have a friend who may be experiencing abuse, be sure to reach out to them even more during this time.

10. Creating a “Peaceful Space”

Many survivors are feeling forced to spend more time with an abuser during the coronavirus outbreak because they may feel unsafe leaving the home, as well as unsafe staying in the home. If you cannot leave your home, try to create a “peaceful space” for yourself in your home (if that is safe for you). You can draw pictures of a more peaceful place and put them on a wall to help you take an emotional break to visualize a more peaceful place.  This is also an activity you can do with your children.  You can also write positive affirmations and put them up on the wall to remind yourself of your worth.

11. Holding onto Your Plan

Consider keeping a list of your safety plan in your phone or wherever might be safe for you. Please consider what is safest for you. If you choose to write your plan somewhere, consider listing only key words that help you remember the plan, but that would not be clear to your abuser. If this is not safe, try to memorize your plan, focusing on memorizing at least one key emergency number on your list of resources.


All of the following resources are accessible, despite the coronavirus outbreak.

  • 9-1-1: In case of an emergency at any time, please call 911.
  • Emergency SOS on iPhone: Here is a link to a shortcut to using Emergency SOS to quickly and easily call for help and alert your emergency contacts if you have an iPhone: How to Use Emergency SOS on your iPhone
  • Emergency Location Sharing on Androids and iPhones: Here is a link for how to set up emergency location sharing on your phone, in case you want to share your location with a trusted friend or relative in case of emergency: How to Use Emergency Location Sharing
  • Sanctuary for Families Hotline: Sanctuary for Families’ Hotline is still accessible from Monday-Friday from 9 AM- 5 PM. Please call us at 212-349-6009
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline is still accessible 24/7. Please call them at 1-800-799-7233
  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: The National Human Trafficking Hotline is still accessible 24/7. Please call them at 1-888-373-7888 or text them at 233-733
  • Suicide Hotline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is still accessible 24/7. Please call them at 1-800-273-8255

By: Monica Harris, Survivor Leader & Shobana Powell, LCSW, Director of Survivor Leadership Institute.

Reviewed by: Flore Baptiste, Carmen Guzman Lombert, Survivor Leader, Cristian Eduardo, Survivor Leader, and Hazell Imbert, LMHC, Counselor in Residential Services.

[1] Walters, M.L, J. Chen, and M.J. Breiding. “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation.” Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013.

[2] Brown, Taylor N.T., and Jody L. Herman. “Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Abuse among LGBT People.” Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, 2015.

[3] Clements, K., M. Katz, and R. Marx. “The Transgender Community Health Project.” San Francisco, CA: University of California San Francisco, 1999.

[4] Human Rights Campaign. “Common Myths about LGBTQ Domestic Violence,” October 18, 2017.

COVID-19기간 동안 안전계획 만들기: 피해생존자들이 말하는 피해생존자들을 위한 팁:

다음 안전계획 안내서는 안식처의 피해생존자 리더쉽 기관 회원들에 의해 만들어졌고 임상의들에 의해 검토되었다. 이 안내서는 피해생존자 및 임상의들의 전문지식, 국립 가정폭력 핫라인 (National Domestic Violence Hotline), 가족의 안식처 및 Love is Respect의 안전계획 규범을 기반으로 합니다.

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다음 안전계획 안내서는 안식처의 피해생존자 리더쉽 기관 회원들에 의해 만들어졌고 임상의들에 의해 검토되었다. 이 안내서는 피해생존자 및 임상의들의 전문지식, 국립 가정폭력 핫라인 (National Domestic Violence Hotline), 가족의 안식처 및 Love is Respect의 안전계획 규범을 기반으로 합니다.

피해생존자의 안전 팁이 적힌 PDF 다운로드는 여기를 클릭하세요.

안전계획은 무엇인가요?

안전계획은 학대자나 가족 구성원과의 불안전한 상황에서의 위험요소를 줄이기 위한 방법들의 모음입니다. 코로나19 사태로 인한 주변 환경의 변화에서, 젠더기반폭력의 피해생존자들에게 피해생존자들이 만든 다음 안전 팁들에 주목해 주시길 조언 드립니다. 가족의 안식처 피해생존자 리더 팀은 현재 상황에서의 안전을 위한 디지털 도구를 제공할 수 있기를 바라며 이 목록을 만들었습니다.

왜 안전계획을 만들어야 하나요?

비상 상황이나 높은 스트레스 상황, 특히 코로나19로 인해 가중된 스트레스 및 불확실성 속에서 생각하거나 반응하는 것이 힘들 수 있기 때문에 계획을 미리 준비하는 것이 좋습니다. 또한, 상황이 바뀔 수 있기에, 안전계획을 자주 갱신하는 것이 중요합니다. 학대자는 종종 피해생존자의 삶을 통제하려고 하기에, 안전계획은 본인의 상황에 통제권을 최대한 지킬 수 있는 한 방법입니다. 계획을 갖는 것은 당신의 상황에서 당신이 가장 안전한 결정을 할 수 있도록 합니다.

당신은 전문가입니다

당신은 어느 누구보다 당신의 상황을 잘 알고 있기에, 당신이 가장 안전하다고 느끼는 것에 맞춰 안전 계획을 개별화 시켜 주세요. 무언가 안전하지 않다고 느껴진다면 직감을 믿으세요. 예를 들어 안전계획을 서면으로 남겨 놓는 것은 안전하게 느껴지지 않을 수도 있기 때문에, 머릿속에서 최대한 많이 복습하고 암기하시면 좋습니다. 또한, 당신이 신뢰하는 친구나 가족 구성원과 함께 검토해 보는 것도 도움이 됩니다.

디지털 안전

당신을 학대하는 누군가가 직접 혹은 원격(해킹)으로 접속할 수 없는 컴퓨터나 전화기를 사용하는게 좋습니다. 디지털 스토킹은 학대자들이 영향력을 가하거나 통제를 위해 사용하는 하나의 방법입니다. 이메일이나 문자, 메신저 등은 당신이 처한 위험이나 학대 상황을 누군가에게 이야기하기에 안전한 방법이 아닙니다. 대신, 할 수 있다면 전화를 하세요. 이메일이나 문자를 사용한다면, 안전한 컴퓨터나 전화기와 학대자가 모르는 계정을 사용하시기 바랍니다.

컴퓨터, 인터넷 및 디지털 안전에 대한 자세한 안내는 여기를 클릭하세요.(영어)

코로나19 사태로 인해 학대 위험의 증가

많은 사람들이 사회적 거리두기 및 격리생활을 하고 있기에, 피해생존자의 안전에 추가 위험이 가해질 수 있습니다. 예를 들어:

  • 고립: 학대자들은 이 기간을 이용하여 피해생존자들을 그들과 가까운 사람들로부터 고립시키거나, 피해생존자들이 언제 어디를 가는 지 등의 이동을 더욱 제한할 수 있습니다. 게다가 학대자는 피해생존자의 온라인 대화를 통제하여 외부 세계와의 접촉을 제한할 수 있습니다.
  • 정보 접속 제한: 또한 학대자들은 뉴스 및 모든 외부 매체로의 접속을 제한하여 학대자 자신을 유일한 정보의 원천으로 만들 수 있습니다.
  • 학대의 증가: 이 기간 동안, 피해생존자들이 그들의 학대자들과 더 많은 시간을 보내기 때문에 학대가 심각해질 수도 있습니다. 피해생존자들은 새로운 종류의 학대를 경험할 수도 있습니다.
  • 대면 스토킹 및 사이버스토킹: 학대자들은 대면 및 디지털 도구를 이용한 감시, 통제 및 스토킹을 하기 위해 영향력을 가할 수 있습니다.
  • 재정적 학대: 이 기간 동안 일을 하지 못하여 많은 분들은 재정적으로 어려울 수 있기 때문에, 학대자들이 추가 재정적 착취를 가할 수 있습니다.
  • 육아: 이 기간 동안 학대자와 공동육아를 해야 하는 피해생존자는 독특한 문제에 직면할 수 있습니다. 구체적으로 말하면 방문권 제안 및/또는 탁아소의 부족으로 인한 학대자에 대한 노출 증가 등이 있습니다. 예를 들어 피해생존자는 출근하기 위해서 육아를 위해 학대자를 이용해야 할 수도 있습니다.

피해생존자들이 말하는 안전 팁

1. 버디 시스템 암호 단어

당신에게 문제가 생겼을 때, ‘암호’를 통해 연락할 수 있는 사람 2명이상 확인하세요. 암호를 보냈을 때 받는 사람이 어떻게 행동해야 할지에 대해 미리 준비하세요.

2. “가장 안전한 방”

집에서 가장 안전한 구역을 확인하세요. 다툴 때 당신은 무기가 없는 그 구역으로 이동할 수 있고, 주택/아파트/건물에서 탈출구(예를 들어 문이나 창문)를 통해 나갈 수 있습니다. 일부의 피해생존자들(특히 코로나19 기간 동안 집에서 학대자와 함께 격리를 하고 있는 피해생존자들)에게는 모든 방이 안전하지 않다고 느껴질 수도 있기 때문에 (비교적) “가장 안전한 방”이라고 말합니다. 최소한 가장 위험이 적은 구역을 확인해 두도록 하면, 피해를 줄일 수 있습니다.

3. 아이들이랑 계획 만들기

  • 암호: 아이들이 있다면, 긴급 상황에 대해 어떻게 소통할 지 정하세요. 예를 들어, 한 피해생존자의 딸이 어렸을 때, 피해생존자가 팔을 벌리면, 딸은 그게 안전을 위해 엄마에게 바로 달려가야 하는 건 지 알았습니다. 또한 일부 피해생존자는 미리 정한 ‘가장 안전한 방’으로 가야 한다는 것을 의미하는 ‘암호’를 아이들과 함께 만들었습니다.
  • 비상 전화 번호: 어떤 이유 때문에 당신이 비상 전화를 걸 수 없고, 충분히 나이 들은 아이들 있다면, 아이들에게 안전 (비상) 전화 번호를 주세요. 비상 전화 번호는 아래 참조 목록을 읽어 주세요.

4. 응급상황이 생기기 전에 경찰에게 알리기

걱정되는 점들에 대해 지역 경찰서에게 미리 알릴 수 있습니다. 당신이 처해 온 상황과   코로나19에 의해 고립되는 것에 대한 걱정을 알려주면 좋습니다. 그리고, 가정폭력담당관과 이야기하는 것이 도움이 될 수도 있습니다.

5. 탈출 계획

당신은 도망쳐야 할 경우에 대비해, 이 과정을 도와줄 수 있는 사람과 탈출 계획을 미리 준비하세요. 당신은 필요에 따라 함께 머물 수 있는 신뢰하는 친구나 가족 구성원이 있습니까?

6. 생활용품, 음식 및 약

생활용품과 음식을 확인하세요. 음식이 필요한데 돈이 없을 때, 주변의 푸드뱅크, 사원, 성당, 모스크, 교회 등 혹은 시민 복지 센터를 확인하세요. 비상 경우를 대비하여, 당신의 약을 가장 안전한, 그리고 쉽게 접근할 수 있는 곳에 보관하도록 하세요.

7. 비상용 가방

비상용 가방 속에 예비의 열쇠, 당신과 당신 아이들의 옷, 선불제휴대폰, 약, 중요한 서류들의 복사본 등을 챙겨놔 주세요.

8. 중요 서류

당신은 중요한 서류를 복사 하거나 사진으로 찍은 후에 당신 자신이 보관하는 것 외에 신뢰하는 친구나 가족 구성원에게도 보내기를 조언합니다. 중요한 서류에는 운전면허증, 주민등록증, 사회보장카드, 출입국 서류, 출생증명서, 건강보험안내, 감호영장 등이 포함될 수 있습니다. 위에서 언급된 것과 같이, 어떤 것이든 전화기나 컴퓨터로 보내는 것을 조심하세요. 당신에게 가장 안전한 방법을 사용해 주세요.

9. 사회적 지지 찾기

사회적 거리 두기와 격리로 인해 피해생존자들이 고립을 더 많이 느낄 수 있고 학대자들은 힘과 통제 전략으로 추가적인 고립을 이용할 수도 있습니다. 가상으로 소통할 수 있는 신뢰가능한 친구, 가족 구성원 혹은 온라인 서포트 그룹을 찾으세요. 이 기간 동안 당신에게 학대를 받고 있을 수도 있는 친구가 있으면 평소보다 더 많이 연락하세요.

10. “평화로운 공간” 만들기

코로나19 기간 동안 실내 있는 것이 안전하지 않다고 느끼는 동시에 집 밖에 나가는 것도 안전하지 않게 느껴질 수 있기 때문에 많은 피해생존자들은 학대자와 평소보다 더 긴 시간을 강제로 함께 보내고 있다고 느끼고 있습니다. 집 밖으로 나가는 것이 어렵다면, 집안에 (자신에게 안전한) 자신 위한 “평화로운 공간”을 만들어 보세요. 당신이 정서적 휴식을 취하여 더 평화로운 곳을 상상할 수 있도록, 평화로운 장소를 그림으로 그려서 벽에 붙일 수도 있습니다. 또한 이 활동은 당신의 아이들과 함께 할 수 있습니다. 그리고,  당신은 자신의 가치를 기억할 수 있도록 긍정적인 말을 써서 벽에 붙일 수 있습니다.

11. 당신의 계획을 가지고 가세요!

휴대폰이나 안전한 곳 어딘가에 안전 계획 목록을 보관하도록 해보세요. 당신 위해 무엇이 가장 안전한지 생각하세요. 당신의 계획을 어딘가에 쓰는 것을 선택한다면, 핵심어만을 쓰기를 고려하면 좋고, 이는 당신의 학대자에게는 분명하지 않아야 합니다. 이것이 안전하지 않는 경우에 계획을 암기하도록 하고 참조 목록의 비상 전화 번호를 적어도 하나 암기하는 것에 집중해 주세요.

참조 목록

코로나19 발생에도 불구하고 다음 참조 목록의 기관들은 다 연락가능 합니다.

  • 9-1-1: 비상시에는 언제나 911에 전화해 주세요.
  • 아이폰 긴급 구조 요청: 당신이 아이폰을 갖고 있으면, 빠르고 쉽게 도움을 구하고 당신의 긴급 연락처에 알릴 수 있는 긴급 구조 요청 기능의 단축키에 대한 링크가 여기 있습니다. (영어): How to Use Emergency SOS on your iPhone
  • 안드로이드 및 아이폰의 긴급 위치 공유: 긴급상황에 당신의 신뢰하는 친구나, 가족 구성원들과 당신의 위치를 공유하고 싶다면, 여기 링크를 참조해 주세요. (영어): How to Use Emergency Location Sharing
  • (가족의 안식처) Sanctuary for Families의 핫라인: 월요일~금요일 오전 9시부터 오후 5시까지 연락가능 합니다.212-349-6009로 전화해 주세요.

By: Monica Harris, Survivor Leader & Shobana Powell, LCSW, Director of Survivor Leadership Institute.

Reviewed by: Flore Baptiste, Carmen Guzman Lombert, Survivor Leader, Cristian Eduardo, Survivor Leader, and Hazell Imbert, LMHC, Counselor in Residential Services.

How to Obtain an Order of Protection During COVID-19

As courts have gone wholly virtual due to COVID-19, Sanctuary is helping New Yorkers experiencing domestic violence petition orders of protection in Virtual Family Court.

Shelter-in-place orders and other COVID-19-related measures—while essential to slowing the spread of this disease—have put thousands of New Yorkers at greater risk of harm from domestic violence. Many survivors are currently trapped at home with their abusers, feeling isolated and fearful of reaching out for help. Others are worried about the status of their current Orders of Protection or are unsure as to how to secure one in the midst of this crisis, especially now that the courts have gone wholly virtual.

In light of these challenging circumstances, Sanctuary has been actively working with government officials, the courts, and law enforcement to guarantee survivors’ ability to seek relief through the Justice System. When the Courts announced the shift to virtual hearings for emergency matters, Sanctuary attorneys moved quickly—working with the Office of Court Administration to clarify the standards for securing Orders of Protection—and connecting with District Attorneys’ offices and law enforcement to ensure that orders are served and enforced accordingly. Beginning Monday, April 13, Sanctuary Attorneys and pro bono partners will also be providing assistance to survivors seeking Orders of Protection through our new Virtual Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP).


As per administrative orders from March 19th and 22nd, ALL Orders of Protection in effect before the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to be active. This applies to both criminal and family court orders.

However, if a family member or current or former intimate partner is abusing, harassing, threatening, and/or intimidating you, or has committed a crime against you, you can still petition for an Order of Protection (OOP) in Virtual Family Court by doing the following:

1. Petitioning for an Order

Contact Sanctuary for Families or your borough’s Family Justice Center and indicate you are seeking an Order of Protection (click here to see our contact information). We will connect you with an attorney who will help you draft and file a petition for an OOP in Virtual Court. If you are asked to leave a message, someone will respond to your call shortly.

Upon reaching us, you’ll be given the option to connect with our attorneys via phone, Skype, Zoom, or any other platform of your preference. Together, you will draft the petition and the attorney will then file it through Remote Filing E-Share or instruct you on how to file it independently. Petitions can be filed until 4 pm. 

When drafting the petition, our attorneys will make sure to indicate your language of preference. LanguageLine interpreters will be available to assist during this drafting process if needed.

As a reminder, all of our services are confidential and free of charge.

2. After Filing the Petition

On the same day that the attorney files your petition, the Court will contact you with details on when your case will be heard. This usually happens within a few hours of filing. Make sure to stay by your phone all day to avoid missing the call.

During this phone call, you will be given a specific time for your hearing, the phone number you’ll be dialing in on that day, and the PIN code needed to enter the virtual courtroom. Make sure you write down this information and save it somewhere safe.

3. Your Hearing

Appearing in virtual court will take approximately 15 minutes, and the process will feel similar to participating in a regular conference call.

After you dial in and enter your PIN code, you will virtually enter the courtroom with a virtual judge, virtual clerk, and virtual court reporter.  Depending on the arrangements you’ve made, the attorney and a language interpreter may or may not be participating remotely in this call.

If the attorney is present, the Court will ask them to state their appearance. After this, the Court will ask you, the petitioner, to state your appearance and swear you in. The judge will then review your petition and may or may not ask you and/or the attorney some questions before issuing the Temporary Order of Protection (TOP). The judge will inform you of your next court date, which will also be in virtual court, or, in your borough’s Family Court, if courts are back in operation. Your Temporary Order of Protection will remain active until the next court date. Please make sure to discuss the process of receiving a Final Order of Protection with the attorney. 

4. Serving the Order

Once the judge issues the TOP, you will receive a copy of the order via email the same day. PLEASE REMEMBER: The TOP must be served on your abuser for it to be valid. If your abuser does not have notice of the fact that you received a temporary order of protection against them, they can’t be arrested for violating it!

The attorney can help you serve the TOP on your abuser and provide you with a signed affidavit after doing so. You can also have a friend, family member, or other individual serve the order on your abuser, as long as they are over the age of 18. Whoever serves the order will have to fill out and provide you with a signed affidavit of service for your records.

You may register to be notified when your Order of Protection is served at



Sanctuary’s Legal Helpline: 1.212.349.6009 x246, available M-F, from 9 am-5 pm.

NYC Family Justice Centers, available M-F, from 9 am-5 pm.

  • Manhattan FJC: 212-602-2800
  • Brooklyn FJC: 718-250-5111
  • Bronx FJC: 718-508-1220
  • Queens FJC: 718-575-4545
  • Staten Island FJC: 718-697-4300


Our services remain available! If you are in need of support, please call 212-349-6009 between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, or visit


Sicherheitsplanung während COVID-19: Tipps von Überlebenden für Überlebende

The following Safety Planning Guide was created by members of Sanctuary’s Survivor Leadership Institute and has been reviewed by multiple clinicians. The guide draws from survivors’ and clinicians’ expertise, as well as from safety planning models from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Sanctuary for Families, and Love is Respect. 

English | Español | Français | Deutschالعربية | 中文 | 한국어 

Der folgende Leitfaden zur Sicherheitsplanung wurde von Mitgliedern des Survivor Leadership Institute von Sanctuary erstellt und von mehreren Klinikern geprüft. Der Leitfaden stützt sich auf das Fachwissen von Überlebenden und Klinikern sowie auf Sicherheitsplanungsmodelle der nationalen Hotline für häusliche Gewalt, des Sanctuary for Families und von Love is Respect.


Ein Sicherheitsplan ist eine Reihe von Maßnahmen, die Sie ergreifen können, um das Risiko von Schäden in unsicheren Situationen mit einem Täter oder einem Familienmitglied zu verringern. Angesichts der Veränderungen in unserer Umgebung durch das Coronavirus raten wir Überlebenden von geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt, die folgenden Sicherheitstipps zu beachten, die von Überlebenden erstellt wurden.  Das Team der Survivor Leaders von Sanctuary for Families hat diese Liste in der Hoffnung zusammengestellt, dass es in dieser Zeit digitale Werkzeuge für die Sicherheit zur Verfügung stellen kann.


Es kann schwierig sein, in einer Zeit des Notfalls oder hohen Stresses zu denken und zu reagieren, insbesondere bei dem zusätzlichen Stress und der Unsicherheit des Coronavirus, daher ist es hilfreich, einen Plan im Voraus zu erstellen. Es ist auch wichtig, den Sicherheitsplan häufig zu aktualisieren, da sich die Umstände ändern können. Täter versuchen oft, Macht und Kontrolle über das Leben eines Überlebenden zu haben, und ein Sicherheitsplan ist eine Möglichkeit, wie ein Überlebender Macht und Kontrolle über seine eigene Situation haben kann, so weit es ihm möglich ist.  Ein Plan kann Sie in die Lage versetzen, die für Ihre Situation sichersten Entscheidungen zu treffen.


Sie kennen Ihre Situation besser als jeder andere, also passen Sie Ihren Sicherheitsplan bitte an das an, was sich für Sie am sichersten anfühlt.  Wenn sich etwas nicht sicher fühlt, vertrauen Sie Ihren Instinkten.  Es mag zum Beispiel nicht sicher sein, einen Sicherheitsplan schriftlich abzuschließen, aber Sie können ihn trotzdem in Ihrem Kopf noch einmal durchgehen und ihn so gut wie möglich auswendig lernen.  Es kann auch hilfreich sein, Ihren Sicherheitsplan mit einem Freund oder Verwandten Ihres Vertrauens durchzugehen.


Versuchen Sie bitte, einen sicheren Computer oder ein sichereres Telefon zu verwenden, auf den bzw. auf das eine missbrauchende Person keinen direkten oder entfernten (Hacker-)Zugang hat.  Digitales Stalking ist eine Möglichkeit für Missbraucher, Macht und Kontrolle auszuüben. E-Mail und Instant-/Textnachrichten (IM) sind keine sicheren oder vertraulichen Wege, um mit jemandem über die Gefahr oder den Missbrauch in Ihrem Leben zu sprechen. Wenn möglich, rufen Sie bitte stattdessen an. Wenn Sie E-Mail oder Textnachrichten verwenden, benutzen Sie bitte einen sicheren Computer oder ein sichereres Telefon und ein Konto, von dem Ihr Missbraucher nichts weiß.

Für weitere Informationen über Computer, das Internet und digitale Sicherheit klicken Sie bitte hier.


Da viele von uns soziale Distanzierung und Quarantäne praktizieren, gibt es viele zusätzliche Risiken für Überlebende und ihre Sicherheit, wie zum Beispiel:

  • Isolation: Die Täter können diese Zeit nutzen, um die Überlebenden weiter von ihren Geliebten zu isolieren. Sie können diese Zeit auch dazu nutzen, die Bewegungsfreiheit eines Überlebenden persönlich weiter einzuschränken und zu kontrollieren, wohin sie gehen und wann. Sie können auch die Online-Interaktionen eines Überlebenden kontrollieren und so seinen Zugang zur Außenwelt einschränken.
  • Den Zugang zu Informationen einschränken: Missbraucher können auch den Zugang zu Nachrichten und anderen Medien einschränken und sich selbst zur Quelle aller Informationen machen.
  • Erhöhter Missbrauch: Der Missbrauch kann sich während dieser Zeit verschlimmern, da die Überlebenden möglicherweise mehr Zeit mit ihren Missbrauchern verbringen. Überlebende können während dieser Zeit auch neue oder andere Arten von Missbrauch erleben.
  • Persönliches und digitales Stalking: Missbraucher könnten versuchen, ihre Macht auszuüben, indem sie versuchen, Überlebende persönlich und digital zu überwachen, zu kontrollieren und zu stalken.
  • Finanzieller Missbrauch: Viele Menschen sind durch ihre Arbeitsunfähigkeit finanziell belastet, und Missbraucher können in dieser Zeit Überlebende weiter finanziell ausbeuten.
  • Erziehung: Überlebende, die ihre Kinder gemeinsam mit ihren Missbrauchern erziehen, können in dieser Zeit mit einzigartigen Herausforderungen konfrontiert sein, wie z.B. Besuchsbarrieren und/oder erhöhte Exposition gegenüber dem Missbraucher aufgrund fehlender zugänglicher Kinderbetreuung. Damit ein Überlebender arbeiten kann, muss er/sie z.B. seinen/ihren Missbraucher für die Kinderbetreuung ausnutzen.


1. Buddy-System-Codewort

Identifizieren Sie mindestens zwei Personen, an die Sie sich mit einem “Codewort” wenden können, um sie zu informieren, wenn Sie in Schwierigkeiten sind. Planen Sie im Voraus, was sie tun sollen, wenn Sie ihnen das Codewort schicken.

2. “Sicherster Raum”

Wenn es einen Streit gibt, bestimmen Sie einen Bereich des Hauses, in den Sie umziehen können, in dem es keine Waffen gibt und in dem es Möglichkeiten gibt, das Haus, die Wohnung oder das Gebäude zu verlassen, wie z.B. eine Tür oder ein Fenster, um das Haus/die Wohnung zu verlassen. Für einige Überlebende, insbesondere für diejenigen, die zu Hause mit einem Missbraucher während des Coronavirus unter Quarantäne gestellt wurden, mag sich kein Raum sicher fühlen, deshalb nennen wir ihn die “sichersten Räume”. Wenn Sie zumindest die Bereiche mit dem geringsten Risiko identifizieren können, können Sie vielleicht den Schaden reduzieren.

3. Mit Kindern planen

  • Codewörter: Wenn Sie Kinder haben, entscheiden Sie, wie Sie die Dringlichkeit kommunizieren wollen. Wenn zum Beispiel die Tochter einer Überlebenden klein war, öffnete die Überlebende ihre Arme und die Tochter wusste, dass dies bedeutete, zu ihr zu laufen, um sich in Sicherheit zu bringen. Einige Überlebende erstellen auch ein “Codewort” mit ihren Kindern, das bedeutet, dass sie in den “sichersten Raum” des Hauses gehen sollen, für den Sie sich bereits entschieden haben.
  • Notfallnummern: Wenn Sie aus irgendeinem Grund nicht in der Lage sind, Notrufe zu machen, und Sie Kinder haben, geben Sie ihnen die Sicherheitsnummer(n), wenn sie alt genug sind. Einige Notrufnummern finden Sie im Abschnitt “Ressourcen”, der unten aufgeführt ist.

4. Verständigung der Polizei vor einem Notfall

Im Vorfeld können Sie Ihre Bedenken bei Ihrer örtlichen Polizeidienststelle anmelden. Lassen Sie sie die Geschichte und Ihre Sorge über die Isolation aufgrund des Coronavirus wissen. Es kann nützlich sein, mit dem Beamten für häusliche Gewalt zu sprechen.

5. Ausstiegsplan

Falls Sie fliehen müssen, erstellen Sie im Voraus einen Ausstiegsplan mit jemandem, der diese Notwendigkeit unterstützen könnte. Gibt es einen vertrauenswürdigen Freund/Verwandten, bei dem Sie bei Bedarf bleiben können?

6. Vorräte, Lebensmittel und Medikamente

Überprüfen Sie Ihre Vorräte und Lebensmittel. Wenn Sie Lebensmittel benötigen und kein Geld haben, überprüfen Sie Ihre örtliche Speisekammer, den Tempel/Kirche/Moschee/usw. oder andere Gemeindeorganisationen. Denken Sie daran, Ihre Medikamente im Notfall an einem sicheren, leicht zugänglichen Ort aufzubewahren.

7. Notfalltasche

Packen Sie eine Notfalltasche mit einem zusätzlichen Satz Schlüssel, Kleidung für Sie und Ihre Kinder, ein Prepaid-Handy, Medikamente, Kopien von wichtigen Dokumenten usw.

8. Wichtige Dokumente

Machen Sie Kopien oder Fotos von Ihren wichtigen Dokumenten für sich selbst und schicken Sie sie an einen vertrauenswürdigen Freund oder Verwandten. Wichtige Dokumente können Ausweise, Sozialversicherungskarten, Einwanderungsdokumente, Geburtsurkunden, Informationen zur Krankenversicherung und Schutzanordnungen sein. Wie bereits erwähnt, sollten Sie darauf achten, dass Sie alles per Telefon oder Computer schicken. Bitte verwenden Sie die für Sie sicherste Methode.

9. Soziale Unterstützung suchen

Durch die soziale Distanzierung und Quarantäne können sich Überlebende noch mehr isoliert fühlen, und Missbraucher können eine weitere Isolation als Macht- und Kontrolltaktik einsetzen. Identifizieren Sie vertrauenswürdige Freunde, Verwandte oder sogar Online-Unterstützungsgruppen, bei denen Sie noch virtuell eine Verbindung herstellen können.  Wenn Sie einen Freund oder eine Freundin haben, der/die möglicherweise missbraucht wird, sollten Sie in dieser Zeit noch mehr auf ihn/sie zugehen.

10. Einen “friedlichen Raum” erschaffen

Viele Überlebende fühlen sich gezwungen, während des Coronavirus-Ausbruchs mehr Zeit mit einem Missbraucher zu verbringen, weil sie sich beim Verlassen des Hauses und beim Aufenthalt in der Wohnung unsicher fühlen könnten. Wenn Sie Ihr Haus nicht verlassen können, versuchen Sie, sich einen “friedlichen Raum” in Ihrem Haus zu schaffen (wenn das für Sie sicher ist). Sie können Bilder eines friedlicheren Ortes zeichnen und an eine Wand hängen, um sich eine emotionale Pause zu gönnen und sich einen friedlicheren Ort vorzustellen.  Dies ist auch eine Aktivität, die Sie mit Ihren Kindern machen können.  Sie können auch positive Affirmationen aufschreiben und an die Wand hängen, um sich an Ihren Wert zu erinnern.

11. An ihrem Plan festhalten

Überlegen Sie sich, ob Sie eine Liste Ihres Sicherheitsplans in Ihrem Telefon oder an einem anderen für Sie sicheren Ort aufbewahren sollten. Bitte überlegen Sie, was für Sie am sichersten ist. Wenn Sie sich dafür entscheiden, Ihren Plan irgendwo aufzuschreiben, überlegen Sie sich, nur Schlüsselwörter aufzulisten, die Ihnen helfen, sich an den Plan zu erinnern, aber das wäre Ihrem Missbraucher nicht klar. Wenn dies nicht sicher ist, versuchen Sie, sich Ihren Plan einzuprägen, und konzentrieren Sie sich darauf, sich mindestens eine wichtige Notfallnummer auf Ihrer Liste der Ressourcen einzuprägen.


Alle folgenden Ressourcen sind trotz des Coronavirus-Ausbruchs zugänglich.

  • 9-1-1: In einem Notfall rufen Sie bitte jederzeit 911 an.
  • Notfall-SOS auf dem iPhone: Hier ist ein Link zu einer Verknüpfung zur Verwendung von Emergency SOS, um schnell und einfach Hilfe zu rufen und Ihre Notfallkontakte zu alarmieren, wenn Sie ein iPhone besitzen: Wie Sie Emergency SOS auf Ihrem iPhone verwenden.
  • Gemeinsame Nutzung von Notfall-Standorten auf Androids und iPhones: Hier finden Sie einen Link, wie Sie die Standortfreigabe für Notfälle auf Ihrem Telefon einrichten können, falls Sie Ihren Standort im Notfall einem Freund oder Verwandten Ihres Vertrauens mitteilen möchten: Wie Sie die Notfall-Standortfreigabe verwenden können.
  • Hotline für Familien: Die Hotline des Sanctuary for Families’ ist von Montag bis Freitag von 9.00 bis 17.00 Uhr weiterhin erreichbar. Bitte rufen Sie uns an unter 212-349-6009.
  • National hotline for domestic violence: The national hotline for domestic violence is still available around the clock. Please call 1-800-799-7233.
  • National hotline for human trafficking: The national hotline for human trafficking can still be reached around the clock. Please call 1-888-373-7888 or send an SMS to 233-733.
  • Suicide hotline: The national suicide prevention lifeline is still available around the clock. Please call 1-800-273-8255.

By: Monica Harris, Survivor Leader & Shobana Powell, LCSW, Director of Survivor Leadership Institute.

Reviewed by: Flore Baptiste, Carmen Guzman Lombert, Survivor Leader, Cristian Eduardo, Survivor Leader, and Hazell Imbert, LMHC, Counselor in Residential Services.