We are living in unprecedented times and resources for abuse survivors are more important than ever.
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are putting those of us who have experienced or are currently experiencing abuse at home at increased risk of further violence, danger, isolation, and mental health symptoms.
Below you’ll find the following types of resources:
- Domestic Abuse Resources and Organizations
- Other Crisis Websites and Hotlines
- Books on Narcissism – Find out how you can read or listen for free below!
- Free or Reduced-Fee Tele-Therapy or Online Support Groups
- General Online Mental Health Tools, Information & Resources
- Online Meditation & Mindfulness Resources
- Online Yoga and Fitness Resources
- Social Support and Tools for Connecting with Others
- Self-Care Resources
We will get through this. One day, one hour, one minute at a time.
NOTE: The information below was current as of June 2020.
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Domestic Abuse Resources and Organizations
U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline
For any victims and survivors who need support, call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
U.K. National Domestic Violence Hotline – 0808 2000 247
Canada – Go to this website to find resources within your province: https://www.sheltersafe.ca/
Australia Domestic Violence Hotline – 1800 737 732 – https://www.1800respect.org.au/ (live chat 24/7)
South Africa Stop Gender Violence Helpline – 0800-150-150
Other Crisis Websites & Hotlines
U.S. Crisis Text Number: #741741
Canada Crisis Text Number: #686868
Disaster Distress Hotline offered by SAMSHA – Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies.
Trans Lifeline – Dial 877-565-8860 for US and 877-330-6366 for Canada. Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers.
The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline – Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
Books on Narcissism
There are two options for choosing one or more of the books below for free, and you can use either or both of them.
Many of these books below are available on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. As a subscriber, you pay nothing extra to download them from Amazon and keep them to read as long as you wish. You can try out Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days here:
The second alternative is to listen to your books. You can try out Audible free for 30 days and download two free audiobooks to keep here:
One of the first books I read on the topic (and then read again many times), the author has a way of breaking down exactly what happens in a relationship with a narcissist in easy-to-understand terms. I was highlighting almost every sentence, and some of the passages resonated and described my experience so well and with such grace, I would find myself with tears running down my face at times. He also does a great job explaining what the healing process looks like as well.
This author also wrote Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare. She is a particularly good writer and her descriptions were empowering and inspiring in ways that touched me deeply. In addition, because each chapter is a self-contained essay, it was easy for me to show one to someone else if I wanted them to grasp a particular concept without having to ask them to invest their time in reading an entire book.
This is a combination of the author’s personal story and a description of how narcissists abuse. The author has a unique way of going back and forth between the two that doesn’t feel awkward and has some interesting insights about narcissistic abuse that I didn’t read anywhere else. Paired with her own story, it helped give me strength during a personal time of weakness.
This book helped me to understand my own reactions by contrasting them to how conscienceless people behave. It helped provide me with an understanding of what was so appealing to me about my ex-boyfriend’s behavior, why it was so hard for me to leave, and what was causing so many of the emotions that I had both while in the relationship and afterward.
This is an anonymous memoir by a diagnosed sociopath. I understand intellectually that sociopaths lack empathy and remorse, but by reading a life story told from the point of view of a sociopath, I wanted to understand how they actually rationalize what they do. How does someone without a conscience actually think?
This is an extremely in-depth examination of narcissism and what makes narcissists think and act how they do. The author is a self-aware narcissist. He uses descriptions and categories that help illuminate narcissistic behavior in ways that aren’t found in other texts and I found it highly helpful in understanding what had happened to me.
This book has come along a little later in my healing journey, but it’s one I find myself turning to again and again. I have found myself wanting answers to the questions that didn’t make any sense. This book helped answer them in a very relatable way. I underlined so many passages in this book, as it gave me insight into what it is about Cluster B Personality Disordered individuals that allows them to do the things they do.
H.G. Tudor is another self-aware narcissist. He has written several books that go into specifics about various aspects of narcissism, but this one is mostly written in question-and-answer format and goes into a variety of different topics, answering some of the most burning questions we have about why narcissists do what they do. Although the information can be very harsh to read at times because it is coming directly from a narcissist, it was exactly what I needed to hear at times in order to put my questions to rest. It has a very conversational style that is very easy to understand.
Robert Hare, the author of this book, is considered one of the experts on psychopaths. Although this book is written based on interviews he conducted in prison and is several years old, it is written so well I found it difficult to put down. It provides a good look at the characteristics of psychopaths and how they exhibit themselves in the men and women he interviewed, using detailed examples. I specifically found all of the information on how they use language, lying, and contradictory statements to be very interesting in forming a picture of how narcissists think.
Another book by Tudor, this one was particularly helpful with the process of “emotional” no-contact. After going physically no-contact, there was still the feeling that my ex was with me and it was hard to escape the desire to want him in my life again. In this book, the author explains where that feeling comes from and how to destroy it. Reading this book was one of the things that actually worked for me. Tudor also has many more books about the process of breaking up with a narcissist and going no-contact, including the following: Getting Out: How to Prepare to Leave the Narcissist, No Contact, and Escape: How to Beat the Narcissist.
No-contact was and is one of the hardest parts of being in a relationship with a toxic person for me. It was as if every single emotion I went through about it and every single thought I had was discussed in this book. In addition to just making me feel a little less alone, however, it also provides real advice on what no-contact looks like and how to plan for it.
This is the Bible of healing from narcissistic abuse. While the beginning is a primer on what narcissistic abuse looks like, eighty percent of the book is filled with information and tips on how to heal. It really just doesn’t get any more practical than this in terms of self-care. The author really breaks it down, incorporating a little bit of everything from different therapeutic approaches to tips for dealing with some of the more difficult parts of recovery to links to online worksheets, meditations, YouTube videos, and other free resources.
I read this book in one sitting and then read it through several times again. It was one of the first books to try to explain what narcissistic abuse feels like and why it’s so hard to describe, and then explain what the path to recovery feels like. It’s from a more clinical perspective, but written with a very heart-warming easy-to-read tone, and includes hundreds of quotes from surveys that the author did from those who had been in narcissistically abusive relationships.
This book provides a unique angle on narcissism that doesn’t cover all of the typical information covered in some of the other books on narcissistic abuse. This reframing of the events in your relationship, however, may give you some new ways to think about yourself and what has happened in order to help you move forward from the relationship. The book’s chapters provide some very specific thought exercises and actions for you to take.
This is a relatively new book that was written for both people who are in relationships with narcissists and for those who are supporting them and feel very overwhelmed both by what they are going through and by the information they may be learning or how to extricate themselves from the relationship. It starts with the basics and defines terms that you may have read about, but puts all of the information all in one place.
In alternating Before and After chapters, Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment form the past five years that isn’t part of the long con of lies and manipulation. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. With the pacing and twists of a psychological thriller, A Beautiful, Terrible Thing looks at how a fairy tale can become a nightmare and what happens when “it could never happen to me” actually does.
In April 2006, Mary Turner Thomson received a call that blew her life apart. The woman on the other end of the line told her that Will Jordan, Mary’s husband and the father of her two younger children, had been married to her for fourteen years and they had five children together. The Bigamist is the shocking true story of how one man manipulated an intelligent, independent woman, conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have. It’s a story we all think could never happen to us, but this shameless con man has been doing the same thing to various other women for at least 27 years, spinning a tangled web of lies and deceit to cover his tracks.
Tina Swithin was swept off her feet by a modern day Prince Charming and married him one year later. Tina soon discovered that there was something seriously wrong with her fairytale. The marriage was filled with lies, deception, fraud and many tears. Tina was left in an utter state of confusion. This wasn’t the man that she married…or was it? Tina first heard the term, Narcissistic Personality Disorder from her therapist in 2008 but quickly dismissed the notion that something could be wrong with her husband. It took several years for Tina to begin researching the disorder and suddenly, the past ten years of her life made complete sense. Tina soon discovered that there is only one thing more difficult than being married to a narcissist and that is divorcing a narcissist.
This collection of stories and poems will empower readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serve as a wakeup call to those who are in—or think they may be in—an abusive relationship with a narcissist or sociopath. I Am Free validates and inspires the victims of toxic relationships with the experiences of people from all walks of life—featuring both women and men who have found the courage to survive abusive relationships either as adults or as children raised by narcissists and sociopaths. These vignettes are heavy, raw, and painful, but the ultimate message is one of hope—that it is possible to gain happiness and freedom after narcissistic abuse.
Her marriage to successful airline pilot Captain X seemed like a dream come true. In reality, it was a nightmare. From the second they met, Captain X swept MrsXNomore off her feet, constantly showering her with gifts, flattery and attention. Early on she underwent the physical and emotional stress of infertility and adoption with little help from her husband. Things were not adding up. His erratic work schedule, their few friends, distant family, and his evasiveness about finances left MrsXNomore in a constant state of confusion. Insisting on reviewing family finances, disbelief set in. Captain X had plunged them into serious debt, often using her name, ruining her credit. Shocked, she constantly searched for answers and found them in Captain X’s computer. She discovered he was member of a secret brotherhood involving prostitution, locally and internationally during their entire marriage.
Web of Lies takes you on an emotional roller-coaster, experienced through the eyes of Sarah Tate, an intelligent, young newcomer to Switzerland who is swept off her feet by an older, more experienced company manager. Within weeks of their meeting, Bill impresses her with a courtship vastly unusual in modern times. He lures Sarah with his intellect along with numerous gifts, expensive restaurants, and trips to luxury hotels. Sarah, who is searching for not only love but security, quickly finds herself falling for the worldly but sensitive and caring man Bill represents himself to be. In Web of Lies, she describes the highs and the lows of what it is like to be involved with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how to come to terms with the abuse, and most importantly, how to escape.
This book has the clearest and most thorough description of trauma bonds I have ever read. It also puts them in the context of other types of responses to trauma as well. Almost every chapter contains some sort of exercise to help the reader move past trauma bonds by linking them to other areas of life one may not have thought of.
After I got out of the relationship, I felt vulnerable and unable to trust my own judgment. I wanted to just withdraw from everyone until I could figure out how to keep myself from getting hurt again. This book describes how narcissists erode our boundaries, whether we had strong ones in place before or not, and helped me to get them back so I felt safer and as if I could protect myself from becoming a victim of that type of abusive situation again.
I found this book to be very helpful in bringing me back to myself, likely due to the identity erosion effect that narcissistic abuse has on us. Narcissistic abuse also has an alienating effect. The book tackles feelings of self-empowerment and the idea of “belonging to oneself,” which felt important to me after feeling so lost and confused.
One of the things I learned recently is that people, both children and adults, who survive abuse often have a type of PTSD called Complex PTSD. It occurs because the trauma is sustained over a long period of time and almost becomes a way of life, unlike PTSD, which occurs due to one event or a focused, specific period of time, such as a car accident or tour of duty. This book helped me to understand exactly what Complex PTSD is and how it can be managed.
This book describes eight different types of men that are likely to cause either emotional or physical harm in a relationship. It contains red flags, but also reasoning why each is harmful. I found some of it challenging to read, because I had to examine my own assumptions, however, this is an indication that there is something about myself that I need to take a deeper look at and this is another reason why I believe this book is useful. There is also an accompanying workbook that helps a reader find out what past relationship patterns are to avoid them in the future.
This book’s focus is broader than narcissists. It’s about all of the various ways that any manipulative person uses to get others to do the things they want them to do and how to keep from being manipulated. Yet it really opened my eyes to the actual dynamics by describing how they think about you based on how you act, and how I can do my part to reduce the chances of being manipulated.
This is an excellent book that describes from an academic perspective not only why narcissists do what they do, but also includes information on borderline personality disorder as well– another Cluster B Personality Disorder, if you have been looking for information on that.
I have not read this book, however, I wanted to make its availability known if you are looking for a book specifically about female narcissists because there are so few out there. Zari Ballard has written many other books about narcissistic abuse, and, in fact, I have another of her books on this list.
Free or Reduced-Fee Tele-Therapy or Online Support Groups
REDUCED FEE Virtual Teletherapy by Inclusive Therapists https://www.inclusivetherapists.com/reduced-fee-virtual-teletherapy
REDUCED RATE Mental Healthcare for individuals, couples, children, and families in need through Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
REDUCED RATE Talkspace Digital Therapy (enter the code 1004U for $100 off all plans)
FREE online text chat with a trained listener for emotional support and counseling. Also offers fee- for-service online therapy with a licensed mental health professional. Also offered in Spanish. Offered through 7 Cups.
FREE Online weekly meetings available in more than 30 countries with 600 active groups worldwide. Offered by Emotional Anonymous (a nonprofessional resource that can be a complement to therapy)
FREE or LOW COST virtual support groups on numerous mental health conditions. Website also offered in Spanish. Offered by Support Group Central
FREE online peer support groups offering members facing mental health challenges and/or difficult family dynamics a safe place to connect. Offered by TheTribe Wellness Community
FREE online support groups. Offered by Supportgroups.com
FREE Online mental health support that allows for individuals to connect with others who are living with or supporting someone with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and stressful life events. Offered by For Like Minds.
FREE Online Support Groups. Offered by Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
FREE peer-to-peer online support for those struggling with a wide range of mental health issues. Offered by 18 Percent.
SLIDING SCALE AVAILABLE Virtual Counseling and Therapy offered by Onyx Therapy Group
FREE Virtual Peer Counseling for those in need of trauma-informed support during this crisis and experiencing emotional or psychiatric distress. Please email email@example.com. Offered by Alex Cohen Price, LSM, LMSW
FREE 60-minute counseling/coaching session to anybody working on the front lines of the pandemic response in: Disaster relief, National/community organization, Critical healthcare, Epidemiology and Mental health services offered by Leadership Art Academy
Virtual Therapy Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals offered by National Deaf Therapy
Mental Health Support online meetings for those in Addiction Recovery
SLIDING SCALE/LOW COST Virtual Eating Disorder Recovery Resources and Community Support. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and a therapist will reach out. Offered by Rock Recovery
General Online Mental Health Tools, Information & Resources
Narcissist Abuse Support – website with links to resources in all fifty states and over a thousand free resources
Self Healing Resources offered by the I am Pheonix Project
“What Do You Need?” A Needs Assessment & Resource Information Storage Tool offered by SisterCARE Alliance
Therapist Backed Resources offered by Talkspace
FREE online mental health resources offered by Psych Central
FREE/LOW COST Mental Health App List offered by Latinx Therapy
People with Disabilities, Medical Conditions & Older Adults from the Southeast ADA Center compiled resources specific for individuals with disabilities
Online Meditation & Mindfulness Resources
FREE online guided meditation offered by the Meditation Museum
FREE Mindfulness Resources for students offered by Koru
FREE SPANISH LANGUAGE RESOURCE/ RECURSO EN ESPANOL Guided Meditations en Espanol offered by Mindful Eating Mexico
Insight Meditation Community of Washington – Online live meditation offered several times a day seven days a week
Online Yoga and Fitness Resources
Virtual Yoga Classes by Big Yoga Life
FREE online Yoga Videos offered by Do Yoga with Me
Online Yoga Classes Offered by Radical Body Love
REDUCED RATE Virtual Yoga Classes offered by Yoga NoMa, UnBound.*
FREE Live Webinar Series on Decolonizing Yoga & Wellness (3/23-3/27) offered by Embody Inclusivity
FREE Pre Recorded Yoga Videos (if you enter the promocode ONLINE) offered by YogaWorks
FREE Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation Classes through May 30 offered by Joyn
Fitness Videos and Personal Training Programs offered by Real Big Publishing
FREE MONTH of Virtual Studio Classes offered by Katheryn-Bruni Young (use code PANDEMIC)
LOW-COST Online Barre Classes offered by UnMeasured
DC Fitness centers streaming workout classes by the Washingtontian
FREE On demand fitness videos offered by YMCA360
Inclusive Fitness Education, Apparel and One on One Training offered by Decolonizing Fitness
FREE package of 3 virtual 30 minute personal training sessions offered by Training with Cassie
PAY WHAT YOU CAN Online Live Streaming Dance Classes offered by Dance Life
PAY WHAT YOU CAN Online Live Streaming Zumba CLasses offered by FitZone Plus
PAY WHAT YOU CAN Online dance aerobics classes offered by Fat Kid Dance Party
PAY WHAT YOU CAN online dance classes offered by Joe’s Movement Emporium
NeedyMeds is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit that connects people to programs that will help them afford their medications and other healthcare costs.
If you need assistance finding food, paying for housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, visit 211.org or dial 211 to speak to someone who can help. Run by the United Way.
Social Support and Tools for Connecting with Others
MHA’s Inspire Community
An online community where people can connect with others. MHA hosts a dedicated mental health community, but there are communities related to a variety of topics.
Lyf is a social media app where users share highly personal aspects of themselves without the fear of judgment. It’s the one app where you can be yourself or write anonymously and people won’t degrade or bring you down.
Unlike a hotline for those in immediate crisis, warmlines provide early intervention with emotional support that can prevent a crisis. The lines are typically free, confidential peer-support services staffed by those who have experienced mental health conditions themselves. Find a warmline in your area at warmline.org.
IDONTMIND started a campaign to connect people who are practicing social distancing and encourage others to join in using the hashtag #JustCheckingIn on Instagram.
Bridge Club is a community-led peer support group for women and gender non-conforming folks who are sober or interested in sobriety. A virtual Bridge Club is available and free to join.
Online/Phone Meeting Resources for Substance Use Disorder
The Washington Area Intergroup Association has a list of online/phone meetings for individuals who are struggling with substance use and are unable to attend support group meetings at this time.
This is a calendar of online meetings at various different recovery-related websites.
Manage your distress with one of the free online resources below.
Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall-Access over 600 Orchestral concerts streaming for free
Online Virtual Museum and Library Collections – Visit hundreds of museums and libraries around the world, including the Louvre, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian
Duolingo – Download the app and learn a language (or two) for free by using games and collecting coins
Take a Drawing Class Online – First Month Free with Promocode: Corona2020
Visit a National Park online – Go to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, Yellowstone or even the Virgin Islands