Domestic Violence

Everyone in a family deserves to feel safe and respected. Our domestic violence programs work to end violence at home and help people create healthier relationships. We understand that it is difficult to make major changes alone. Our group programs help people discover the relationship skills they already have, and learn new ways of thinking about how to be a partner or a parent, ultimately changing destructive behavior patterns. Breaking the cycle of abuse is our number one focus.

Alternatives to Family Violence Program

At Families First, our Master’s level counselors work with the entire family to end domestic violence in the home. Separate groups for men, women and children are offered to help each family member learn:

  • Assertiveness training
  • Development of a violence avoidance/safety plan
  • Cycle of violence; power and control dynamics
  • Use of time-outs for anger management
  • Self-esteem, self-responsibility, stress management and communication skills
  • Information about addictive relationships, co-dependency and drug/alcohol abuse

Breaking Free Program

Our Breaking Free advocates and counselors work in locations throughout the community to support, educate and advocate for survivors of domestic abuse. The program works to empower individuals to break free from abusive relationships; provide resources and education for safety, healing and growth; and promote community awareness to end the cycle of violence. In 2014, more than 1,200 individuals participated in the Breaking Free program.

Breaking Free provides free, separate support & education groups for adults, teens, and children.

Families First has two Victim Advocates working full time at Court 21 in Marion County. Victims of domestic violence are assisted through the court processes involved in filing for and being awarded a protective order.

How to Get Started

Call our main line, 317-634-6341, and ask to speak with the Program Assistant for Domestic Violence services. This program is also available in Spanish.


Ten-year old Carlos, had a bad feeling when his mother's boyfriend, Dan, moved into their home. Dan quickly took control of the household--deciding what TV shows the family could watch, when the kitchen was "open," and who would do the chores. He began stealing money from Carlos's mom, and was verbally abusive to Carlos whenever he had the chance.

One night, a typical argument between his mother and Dan escalated to the point of violence, resulting in a phone call to the police. In the aftermath of this episode, a judge directed Carlos and his mother to the Domestic Violence programming at Families First.

Carlos began attending Families First's Children's Support Group for Domestic Violence, while his mother attended the Adult Support Group. In group, for the first time, Carlos started talking about his experience living with an abuser. He learned about the cycle of abuse, and realized just how dangerous a situation he and his mother had been in.

Today, Carlos's mother is no longer in a relationship with Dan, and tension and fear are gone from their home. Carlos still attends the Domestic Violence Children's Support Group, but these days as a volunteer, helping other young people heal from the trauma of witnessing domestic violence in the home.

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