If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, check out these resources for Polk County and the surrounding areas.

Tips for Navigating the Situation

Create a Safety Plan | National Domestic Violence Hotline

What is Emotional Abuse and Can It Impact My Florida Divorce? | Schwartz and White Attorneys at Law

Relationship Violence and Abuse Articles | University of Florida

Tips for Helping Others

Ways to Support a Domestic Violence Survivor | National Domestic Violence Hotline

Talking about Relationship Abuse | National Domestic Violence Hotline

Start a Conversation | National Domestic Violence Hotline 


Peace River Victims Services

“Victim Services Domestic Violence Center and Rape Recovery Program is a dual center providing free and confidential services to victims/survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and is the only center in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties certified by DCF and FCASV.”

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline Hardee/Highlands Counties: (863) 386-1167

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline Polk County: (863) 413-2700

24-Hour Sexual Assault Helpline: (863) 413-2707

Victim Services Office Line: (863) 413-2708

Harbor House

Mission Statement: “Harbor House works to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors, implementing and advancing best practices, and educating and engaging the community in a united front.”

24-Hour Harbor House Crisis Hotline: (407) 886-2856

The Haven at Hope Villages of America

“The Haven at Hope Villages of America is a certified domestic violence center providing a variety of services, including an Outreach Center and an Emergency Safe House.”

Outreach Phone: (727) 441-2029

Hotline: (727) 442-4128

TTY: (727) 446-2448

Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties

“In the 30+ years of existence, Haven has expanded its base of services and today provides comprehensive, unduplicated services to victims of domestic violence and sexual violence. Our primary objectives are to provide these victims with alternatives to abuse or life-threatening situations, and empowerment to establish a violence-free life.”

Haven’s 24/7 Domestic Hotline: (352) 753-5800

Administration: (352) 315-0591 or (352) 315-0449

Lake County Outreach Counseling Office: (352) 787-5889

Sumter County Outreach Counseling Office: (352) 793-5365

Sexual Assault Helpline: Lake & Sumter County: (352) 787-1379 

For more resources found in your local area, check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

Non-Profit Organizations

Battered Women’s Justice Project

“Mission Statement: BWJP promotes systemic change within the civil and criminal justice systems to ensure an effective and just response to victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV), and the children exposed to this violence.”

“The Battered Women’s Justice Project provides expertise, technical assistance, training, and resources through the [numerous] project initiatives and within selected topic areas.”

Phone: (800) 903-0111 ext. 1

A No Abuse Inc.

“A Florida State Certified Batterers’ Intervention Program”

Phone: (407) 228-9503

Victim Service Center of Central Florida, Inc.

Mission Statement: “To provide individualized services and resources to victims of sexual assault, violent crime, and traumatic circumstances, through crisis response, advocacy, therapy, and community awareness.”

24/7 Helpline: (407) 500-HEAL (4325)

Main Office Line: (407) 254-9415

Jewish Family Service of Broward County, Inc.

“The Domestic Abuse Program at Goodman JFS provides short- and long- term confidential assistance to help domestic abuse survivors and families transition and maintain a healthy and safe life through individual and group therapy, case management and guidance. Our program helps abuse survivors create a safety plan and learn necessary self-advocacy and self-sufficiency skills.” This organization serves both Jewish and non-Jewish clients.

Phone: (954) 560-8303


National Domestic Violence Hotline

“24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. Contacts to The Hotline can expect highly-trained, expert advocates to offer free, confidential, and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education, and referral services in over 200 languages.”

Phone: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

TTY: (800) 787-3224


“Our Email Hotline will provide legal information to anyone who reaches out with legal questions or concerns regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, or any other topic covered on WomensLaw.org.” The site also provides legal information and resources related to domestic violence.

Use the Email Hotline at https://hotline.womenslaw.org/public

Florida Department of Children and Families

“The Office of Domestic Violence is responsible for providing oversight on the administration of state and federally-funded initiatives designed to intervene and prevent domestic violence and support survivors and their families. In collaboration with Florida’s network of certified domestic violence service providers and partners, the Florida has established a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to enhancing advocacy and improving the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes.”

Phone: (800) 500-1119

TTD: (800) 621-4202

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline

Phone: (800) 500-1119

Need additional HelpLines? Check out the list provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at https://ncadv.org/resources

Legal Services

Bay Area Legal Services

“Bay Area Legal Services provides free civil legal help to eligible residents of our five-county service area, and seniors and veterans across the state of Florida.” This organization helps many clients, including those facing domestic violence. 

Phone: (800) 625-2257

Florida Rural Legal Services

“Everyone deserves to be safe and live without fear of violence. FRLS’ legal services provide one of the most effective ways to help survivors escape from domestic violence. Our experienced advocates and attorneys provide representation and guidance on issues including orders of protection, parenting plans, divorce, paternity, temporary custody, and more.”

Phone: (888) 582-3410

Recommended Reading

(Arranged in date order, most recent)

Strickland, D. (2020). Is it abuse? A biblical guide to identifying domestic abuse and helping victims. P&R Publishing.

Hoffman, N. (2018). Is it me? Making sense of your confusing marriage: A Christian woman’s guide to hidden emotional and spiritual abuse. Flying Free Media.

Hawkins, D. (2017). When loving him is hurting you: Hope and help for women dealing with narcissism and emotional abuse. Harvest House Publishers.

Thomas, S., & Choi, C. (2016). Healing from hidden abuse: A journey through the stages of recovery from psychological abuse. Mast Publishing House.     

Engel, B. (2011). Honor your anger: How transforming your anger style can change your life. New York: John Wiley And Sons Ltd.

Evans, P. (2010). The verbally abusive relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond. Adams.

Jantz, G. L., & Mcmurray, A. (2009). Healing the scars of emotional abuse. Revell.

Engel, B. (2009). The emotionally abusive relationship: How to stop being abused and how to stop abusing. Media Production Services Unit, Manitoba Education.

Bancroft, L. (2008). Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. W. Ross Macdonald School, Resource Services Library.

Osborn, S. T., Kosman, K. L., & Gordon, J. (2008). Wounded by words: Healing the invisible scars of emotional abuse. New Hope Publishers.

Engel, B. (2007). Healing your emotional self: A powerful program to help you raise your self-esteem, quiet your inner critic, and overcome your shame. Wiley John Wiley [Distributor].

Evans, P. (2006). The verbally abusive man–can he change? A woman’s guide to deciding whether to stay or go. Adams Media Corporation.

Engel, B. (2005). Breaking the cycle of abuse: How to move beyond your past to create an abuse-free future. John Wiley & Sons, Cop.

Donaldson, C., Flood, R., & Eldridge, E. (2006). Stop hurting the woman you love: Breaking the cycle of abusive behavior. Hazelden.

Engel, B. (2001). Loving him without losing you: How to stop disappearing and start being you. John Wiley & Sons.

Engel, B. (1992). The emotionally abused woman: Overcoming destructive patterns and reclaiming yourself. Fawcett Books.