Resources for Survivors of Violence, Disasters, and Other Traumatic Experiences Skip to main content
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Resources for Survivors of Violence, Disasters, and Other Traumatic Experiences

Resources for Survivors of Violence, Disasters, and Other Traumatic Experiences

Finding help

You are not alone. Even in disasters, help is available. Contact any of the resources below for free and confidential support. You can also learn more about safety and privacy considerations for seeking help online or by phone.

Disaster Distress Helpline

Call or Text 1.800.985.5990

24/7 free and confidential support for people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)  |  Online chat

24/7 free and confidential support around sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Call 1.888.373.7888  |  Text 233733  |  Online Chat

24/7 free and confidential support around sex and labor trafficking.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)  |  Online chat

24/7 free and confidential support around domestic, intimate partner, and dating violence.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1.800.273.TALK (8255)  |  Chat online

24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress.

StrongHearts Native Helpline

Call 1.844.7NATIVE (844.762.8483)  |  Online chat

24/7 free, confidential and anonymous culturally-appropriate domestic, dating and sexual violence helpline for Native Americans.

Deaf Hotline

Video Phone 1.855.812.1001  |  Email hotline@adwas.org  |  Online chat

24/7 free, confidential support for Deaf survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

Love is Respect Hotline

Call 1.866.331.9474  |  Text ‘LOVEIS’ to 22522  |  Online chat

24/7 free and confidential support for teens, young adults, and their loved ones.

Trans LifeLine

Call 1.877.565.8860

Free, confidential, and anonymous phone service run by trans/nonbinary operators for trans and questioning peers. The hotline is open 24/7 with operators guaranteed to be on call between 7am-2am Pacific / 10am-5am Eastern. Trans LifeLine will not call 911, emergency services, or law enforcement for active rescue without a caller’s consent.

Trevor Project

Call 1.866.488.7386  |  Text ‘START’ to 678-678  |  Online Chat

24/7 free crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ young people under 25.

Planning for safety from violence and abuse

Safety means something different for everyone, and can become more complex during disasters. The resources below offer tips and tools for creating a plan for physical and emotional safety based on your specific situation and needs, both during and beyond a disaster.

Feeling safe in your body and mind: A guide for survivors of sexual violence/
Sentirse seguro en su cuerpo y mente: Una guía para sobrevivientes de violencia sexual (English/Spanish)

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (2020)

Tips for survivors of sexual violence to help with physical safety, coping with triggers, finding comfort, and seeking support during social distancing and stay at home orders.

Safety planning during COVID-19: Tips from survivors for survivors (English)
Planificación de seguridad durante COVID-19: Consejos de sobrevivientes para sobrevivientes (Spanish)

Sanctuary for Families (March 2020)

Tips for creating a safety plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

9 strategies for quarantining in a non-LGBTQ+ affirming environment

them (March 2020)

Tips for LGBTQ people who are sheltering in place in a non-affirming environment.

Seeking help online: Safety and privacy considerations for survivors (English)
Buscar ayuda en línea: Recursos nacionales y consideraciones de seguridad y privacidad para sobrevivientes (Spanish)

National Network to End Domestic Violence (2020)

Tips for people who are experiencing abuse to increase their privacy and safety while seeking services by phone, text, or chat or when accessing other online resources and supports.

Technology safety plan: A guide for survivors and advocates (English)
Plan de seguridad para la tecnología: Una guía para sobrevivientes e intercersores/as (Spanish)

National Network to End Domestic Violence (2018)

Tips for survivors of sexual and domestic violence to increase safety, security, and privacy related to computers, tablets, phones, and other technology.

Create a safety plan

National Domestic Violence Hotline

An interactive guide to safety planning and additional resources for people who are experiencing abuse, are planning to leave an abusive situation, or have already left.

Healing from violence and coping with retraumatization

For people who have experienced sexual violence or other trauma, disasters can trigger memories, feelings, and responses connected to past traumatic experiences. At the same time, disasters may also limit access to many of the supports survivors turn to for healing. The resources below offer tips and tools to support healing in these particularly challenging times.

Coping strategies for complex trauma survivors contending with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The Foundation Trust (2020)

A resource guide to help complex trauma survivors feel connected, safe, and more in control when sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters.

A toolkit for survivors during COVID-19

metoo movement (May 2020)

Tips and practices to support survivors of sexual violence in grounding, coping with triggers, and navigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also includes suggestions for family members, partners, and friends of survivors.

A guide for survivors of sex trafficking during COVID-19

Sanctuary for Families (March 2020)

A guide for survivors and advocates about ways that social distancing and other conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic may be particularly triggering for survivors of human trafficking, and tips for coping with these reminders and their effects.

7 ways survivors of SV can practice self-care when retraumatized during tragedy

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (October 2017)

Overview of ways traumatic events in the news can cause retraumatization for survivors of sexual violence, and suggested strategies for self-care during tragedy.

Self-care in times of distress and continuous crisis

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (November 2020)

An overview of common reactions to COVID-19, particularly for survivors of sexual violence, and simple strategies for self-care during difficult and unsettling times.

Self-care resources for COVID-19 and beyond

Safe Horizon (March 2020)

A round-up of online videos, articles, and tools to support self-care practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Preparing for COVID-19: A healthcare guide for survivors of violence

The National Center for Reaching Victims & Caminar Latino (April 2020)

An overview of challenges and triggers survivors of sexual violence may experience during health care visits, and strategies for making medical interactions a little easier.

Self-care during COVID-19 (English)
Autocuidado durante COVID-19 (Spanish)

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence (April 2020)

An activity book to support self-care through self-compassion, social connection, healthy routines, and other practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let’s get grounded: A toolkit for survivors (English)
Vamos a conectarnos a la tierra (Spanish)

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (March 2020)

Suggested activities and tips survivors can use for physical, mental, and soothing grounding to help manage overwhelming feelings and reorient to the present moment. Survivors can use the companion worksheet (in English or Spanish) to create their own grounding toolkit.

We believe you: A coloring book for survivors and supporters

Ryerson University Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education

A free coloring and activity book with positive affirmations, prompts and space for journaling, self-care suggestions and reminders, and helpful things to say when someone discloses sexual violence.

"Window of Time" workshop series (English and Spanish)

A Window Between Worlds (2020)

Self-led healing arts workshops/activities related to feelings, safety, community and self-care to promote wellness and resilience.

Student’s guide to radical healing

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (April 2020)

An overview of journaling, yoga, meditation, hiking and nature, sex and pleasure activism, therapy, crystals, and other healing modalities and resources for survivors of trauma.

5 powerful self-care tips for abuse and trauma survivors

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Five self-care practices that can benefit the healing journey of people who have experienced trauma and abuse.

44 mental health resources for Black people trying to survive in this country

Self (June 2020)

A collection of mental health resources that validate and celebrate Blackness, including people, brands, collectives, and organizations to follow on social media, directories and networks for finding Black mental health practitioners, and tips to keep in mind while seeking support.

4 self-care resources for days when the world is terrible

Colorlines (July 2016)

A round-up of resources to support self-care amidst the onslaught of news about violence against people of color.

Madness & oppression: Paths to personal transformation and collective liberation

Fireweed Collective (2015)

A guide to making a Mad Map, with reminders of personal goals, signs of struggle, and strategies for self-determined well-being, with a focus on identifying and coping with the effects of oppression and transforming communities for collective liberation.

Ancestral resistance (English)
Resistencia ancestral (Spanish)

mijente (November 2017)

Collection of prayers, practices and intentions from multiple traditions, with common themes of invoking ancestors, breath work, body wisdom, connection with earth, collective movement, gratitude, and more.

Coping with disaster

The immediate and long-term effects of disasters can be emotionally overwhelming. Intense feelings of stress, grief, anger, fear, and anxiety are common and valid responses to the trauma and loss experienced in disasters. The resources below provide a variety of tools to support your emotional recovery and well-being.

How Right Now

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)

Online tool with videos, tipsheets, articles, and links to additional resources to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being and resiliency of people affected by COVID-19-related stress, grief, and loss.

Pod mapping for mutual aid

Rebel Sidney Black (March 2020)

A model individuals can use to identify people they can count on for support during a crisis, and the types of skills or resources they can provide. Based on the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective’s Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet.

“What do you need” A needs assessment and resource information storage tool

SisterCARE Alliance (April 2020)

A customizable, downloadable form to identify, store, and track critical information related to financial, mental and emotional, social, physical, safety, and other needs and resources.

14 organizations and people working to support BIPOC mental health during the coronavirus crisis

them (May 2020)

A round-up of nonprofits, online communities, therapists, and other organizations and people working to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decolonizing community care in response to COVID-19

NDN Collective (March 2020)

Information about decolonizing from individualism, reconnecting with ways of community care, and traditional practices to mitigate stress and overwhelm within Indigenous communities during COVID-19.

Physically distant but socially close: Indigenous resilience and COVID-19

Urban Indian Health Institute (January 2021)

Ideas for Indigenous communities to adapt cultural practices including greetings, food, dance, and ceremony to keep people socially and culturally close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Care package: Poems, meditations, films, and other cultural nutrients for times like this

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (2020)

A collection of creative offerings, including poems, meditations, films, and writings to address uncertainty, anxiety, and grief through vision, reflection, and healing.

How LGBTQ youth can cope with anxiety and stress during COVID-19

Trevor Project (March 2020)

Common concerns and feelings among LGBTQ youth during the COVID-19 pandemic and tips for managing these intense emotions.

COVID-19: Grief and loss

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June 2020)

An overview of common experiences of grief and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggested strategies for coping with grief after the loss of a loved one and other types of loss or change, and tips for helping children and adolescents cope with grief.

Mental health and COVID-19 information and resources

Mental Health America (2020)

A wide range of resources and information to support individuals and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, including information about dissociation, depression, and staying clean and sober, and links to DIY tools for self-care and coping.

Care for your coronavirus anxiety

Shine (2020)

Guided meditations, articles, frequently asked questions, links to relaxing internet things, and other resources for anxiety and mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.

Self-care tips to get you through the new coronavirus normal

KQED (March 2020)

Practical self-care tips to maintain mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources for people concerned about their own sexual thoughts and behavior during the COVID-19 outbreak

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2020)

A list of helplines and online mental health resources in multiple languages and countries for people seeking help for concerns about their sexual thoughts or behavior towards children. 

Self-care during COVID-19 (English)
Autocuidado durante COVID-19 (Spanish)

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence (April 2020)

An activity book to support self-care through self-compassion, social connection, healthy routines, and other practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recovering emotionally from disaster

American Psychological Association (2013)

An overview of common reactions to disasters and tips to build emotional well-being and gain a sense of control following a disaster.

Coping after disaster

American Psychiatric Association (November 2019)

Information about common emotional, behavioral, and physical reactions to disasters, helpful steps for adults, teens, and children, and links to additional resources.

Coping after a natural disaster: Resources and information for teens

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (December 2020)

Videos, social media graphics, posters, and additional resources for teens coping with the effects of disasters.

Tips for college students: After a disaster or other trauma (English)
Consejos para estudiantes universitarios: Después de un desastre u otro tipo de trauma (Spanish)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2013)

A tipsheet for college students about normal reactions to trauma, strategies for coping, and helpful resources.

Coping with stress

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (November 2020)

Tips for parents and caregivers, kids and teens, school personnel, and anyone coping with the stress after a traumatic event.

Tips for survivors of a disaster or other traumatic event: Managing stress (English)
Consejos para sobrevivientes de un desastre u otro evento traumático: Manejo del estrés (Spanish)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2013)

Fact sheet about common signs of stress, strategies for stress relief and self-care, and helpful resources for survivors of a disaster or other traumatic event.

Tips for survivors: Coping with grief after a disaster or traumatic event

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2017)

A tipsheet about grief, the grieving process, and coping with complicated or traumatic grief after a disaster or other traumatic event.

Tips for survivors: Coping with anger after a disaster or other traumatic event

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (August 2019)

Fact sheet about anger as a common response to disasters and tips for managing and talking with others about it.

Tips for survivors of a disaster or other traumatic event: Coping with retraumatization

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (November 2017)

A fact sheet about causes and signs of retraumatization and ways to build skills and access resources for resilience.

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Traumatic Event: What to Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work, and Financial Life (English)
Consejos para sobrevivientes de un desastre o evento traumático: Qué esperar para su vida personal, familiar, laboral, y financiera (Spanish)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (January 2013)

Fact sheet about the common effects of disasters or other traumatic events on individuals, families, workplaces, and financial concerns, and tips for self-care and coping.

Tips for survivors of a pandemic: Managing stress

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (October 2020)

Fact sheet about common reactions during pandemics and other disasters, tips to manage distress after a pandemic, and information about financial stress and sources of support.

Coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks (English)
Cómo lidiar con el estrés durante un brote de una enfermedad contagiosa (Spanish)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (October 2014)

Fact sheet about common signs of stress, strategies for coping, and resources for support and reliable information during an infectious disease outbreak.

Alcohol, medication, and drug use after disaster

National Child Traumatic Stress Network & National Center for PTSD (February 2018)

Tips for managing alcohol, medication, and drug use and staying in recovery after a disaster.

15 online recovery meetings & groups you’ll want to check out

The Temper (November 2020)

A list of online recovery groups and meetings to support people in staying sober when they can’t leave the house.

51 simple ways to de-stress and find joy at home

Psychology Today (March 2020)

A list of pleasurable activities to help cope with challenges and boost mood when time is limited and going out is not an option.

Change to Chill

Allina Health

Mindfulness guides, stress management activities, videos, worksheets, and more to help teens learn how to relax and integrate healthy habits into their lifestyle.

When it’s too much toolkit

Suzie Gruber (March 2020)

Overview of common responses to disasters or other traumatic events and some suggested tools for stress relief.

How to rest and recover while you fight for social change (English)
Como descansar y recuperarte mientras luchas por el cambio social (Spanish)
Como descansar e se recuperar enquanto luta por mudança social (Portuguese)

FeministSexEd (June 2020)

Practical strategies for activists to rest and maintain energy, connection, and motivation.

Supporting children and young people after disaster

Children and young people experience their own challenges and concerns during and after disasters. The resources below provide tools for parents, caregivers, and other adults to support the well-being and recovery of the children and young people in their lives.

COVID-19 parental resources kit (English)
Kit de recursos parentales acerca del COVID-19 (Spanish)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (December 2020)

Age-specific resources to help parents, caregivers, and other adults recognize and respond to children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A year of COVID and addressing the emotional wellness of our children

Dr. Tyffani Dent (February 2021)

Suggestions for parents and caregivers to support the emotional wellness of children after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly Black and Brown children who are also affected by ongoing racial injustice and racial trauma.

Caring for each other

Sesame Street (2020)

Videos, games and apps, printable activities, and parent resources to help families with children play and learn together while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Handling emergencies
Prepararse para emergencias

Sesame Street (November 2016)

Videos and worksheets to help families with young children plan for and cope with disasters and find strength and resilience within their community.

How can parents find safe child care in emergencies?

Stop It Now (March 2020)

Suggestions for assessing and ensuring children’s physical and emotional safety when seeking child care during an emergency.

Caring for kids after trauma, disaster and death

New York University Child Study Center (2006)

A practical and comprehensive guide to help parents and caregivers, schools, and others who care for children understand and respond to children’s reactions to traumatic events and strengthen factors that promote resilience.

Helping children cope with emergencies (English)
Cómo ayudar a los niños a sobrellevar las emergencias (Spanish)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (September 2020)

Tips for parents and caregivers to help reduce children’s and teenagers’ stress before, during, and after a disaster or traumatic event, and information about common reactions and challenges at different ages.

Helping children and adolescents cope with disasters and other traumatic events: What parents, rescue workers, and the community can do (English)
Cómo ayudar a los niños y adolescentes a superar los acontecimientos catastróficos y otras experiencias traumáticas (Spanish)

National Institute of Mental Health (April 2021)

An overview of common responses to trauma in children and recommendations for parents, rescue workers, and members of the larger community to help children and adolescents recover from disasters and other traumatic events.

Tips for talking with and helping children and youth cope after a disaster or traumatic event: A guide for parents, caregivers, and teachers

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (November 2012)

Fact sheet about common responses to trauma among children and adolescents, tips for talking about traumatic events, and other ways parents, caregivers, and teachers can help.

Talking With children: Tips for caregivers, parents, and teachers during infectious disease outbreaks (English)
Consejos sobre cómo hablar con los niños: Consejos para los cuidadores, padres y maestros durante un brote de una enfermedad contagiosa (Spanish)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (March 2020)

Fact sheet about common reactions to infectious disease outbreaks among different age groups of children and adolescents, and ways adults can help with managing and talking about these responses.

How families can cope with relocation stress after a disaster

Healthychildren.org (October 2018)

Recommended steps to help children mentally and emotionally recover and to rebuild family life after an unplanned evacuation during a disaster.

Helping kids and teens deal with grief (English)
Ayudar a niños y adolescentes en duelo (Spanish)

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life (2020)

Suggestions for parents and caregivers about recognizing and talking with children and teens about loss and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Disaster resources

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

A library of resources for parents and caregivers, educators, and service providers about supporting children and adolescents after different types of natural disasters.

Terrorism & violence resources

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

A library of resources for parents and caregivers, educators, and service providers about supporting children and adolescents after school shootings or other incidents of mass violence.

Coping after a dIsaster

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (July 2018)

A free coloring book for children ages 3-10 to learn about disasters and identify feelings, people who can help, and activities for self-care.

50 calm-down ideas to try with kids of all ages

GoZen! (February 2021)

A list of 50 practical techniques to help children manage stress and anxiety.

Finding food, housing, health care, and other resources

Disasters can make it harder than ever to access food, housing, health care, and other necessities that are important for survival, safety, and healing. The resources below can help you find services and other supports available in your community.

211

A national network for support and referrals for housing and utilities, food, physical and mental health, disaster recovery, and other resources. Dial 211 or search by location for online resources and local contact information.

Disaster financial assistance with food, housing, and bills

Information about stimulus checks, rent assistance and eviction moratoria, food stamps and meal programs, and mortgage relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DisasterAssistance.gov

An online portal where survivors of federally declared disasters can find, learn about, and apply for many forms of disaster relief.

FoodFinder

A nationwide map of food pantries and free food assistance programs.

Meals on Wheels National Directory

An online directory of Meals on Wheels programs providing food and other supportive services for older adults.

Find a Health Center

A national directory of community health centers providing affordable, comprehensive primary care to all regardless of income level or insurance status.

NIWAP Interactive Benefits Maps

Maps by the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) to show available public benefits based on an immigrant’s state and immigration status.

Click here to visit Sexual Violence in Disasters page and explore more resources.

 

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