Interpersonal Safety


A new national suicide prevention and mental-health crisis phone number (988) launched. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Oct. 6, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger and/or you are having an emergency, call 911.
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal ideation, call 988, a new National Suicide Prevention hotline.
  • The 24/7 statewide helpline is 1-800-494-8100 or by visiting the RICADV website using the chat option. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Organizations are open to support individuals and families who need to engage in safety planning.
  • RICADV has this information for individuals seeking restraining orders.
  • RI recently passed new gun safety laws that ban large capacity magazines, raise the legal age to buy guns or ammunition, and prohibits the open carry of any loaded rifle or shotgun in public. Read more here.
Elder Abuse
  • General Information about elder abuse here.
  • Elder abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation reports can be made here.  Report instructions here
  • The Office of Healthy Aging’s Point offices provides adults 55+ with resource support. More information here.
  • RI Legal Services offers free legal support for older adults experiencing abuse. They also offer once a month a legal clinic at the Coventry Center. Appointments are required.

The Breakdown

  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. IPV/DV community-based organizations are hosting a series of events and trainings. Check the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s event calendar.
  • 988 is a new national suicide prevention hotline. It does not replace 911 for emergencies, but rather connects people who are experiencing a mental health crisis to a counselor. FAQ here.
    • A Spanish language line is available at 1-888-628-9454.
    • TTY users dial 711  then 988 or people can use their preferred relay service.
  • When cell phone carriers switch to 5G, they will stop service to phones, medical devices, and security systems that run on 3G. People with older phones will not be able makes calls including emergency calls to 911. For additional information about the timeline and how to upgrade affected devices, visit the FCC website.
  • It is important to acknowledge the reality that social/physical distancing limitations controls IPV survivors’ movement in ways that may be triggering and endangering. Essential safety services through police and courts are functioning.
  • However, for many survivors these resources may not be good or safe options, for a variety of reasons. For those individuals, it’s important to note that the above referenced helplines are available and the National DV hotline offers a chat option.
  • Being an ally to someone in an abusive situation can look like helping the person stay safe by listening, expressing concern without judgment, and asking them if there is anything you can do for them. More on safety planning and resources.

The Bottom Line

  • Local community-based organizations are addressing the pandemic related challenges by maintaining protective services for current clients and initiating new investigations relating to suspicion of neglect or abuse.

Spotlight on non-discrimination

  • IPV survivors are protected against discrimination in a number of contexts including housing, employment, healthy insurance access, and benefit access. If a person has been discriminated against on the sole basis of their IPV status, they have the right to file a complaint. Care teams can share the following resources to help people navigate the different anti-discrimination supports available in RI.