What to do to be safe........
Call the police Write down the emergency number for the police. Call the operator if you don't know it. If you don't have a phone, try to arrange a signal with neighbors so that they can call the police. When the police come, be specific about where he hit you. Say, "He hit me in the stomach, kicked me in the ribs." Show the police your injuries. Show the police what household items he broke. If you are scared to do that in front of your partner, think about talking to one of the officers alone.
Why you may want to call the police.....
They can protect you from immediate danger and help you and your children get out of the house safely. They can arrest the abuser without a warrant, when the police officer has good reason to believe that an assault has taken place or is taking place or that the abuser has violated a personal protection order. They must advise you of the availability of shelter programs and other services in your area. They must write out a police report, which is a detailed account of what happened to you. A police report may be used to help prove the abuse occurred, should charges be filed against the abuser. A police report can be used to show good cause for the court to grant a personal protection order if you should ever need one. Get support from friends and family Tell your family, friends and co-workers what has happened.
Move Out, Move Away
It's not fair. You should not have to leave your home because of his behavior. But sometimes the only way you will be safe is to leave. There are shelters throughout the country that can help you relocate. Get a personal protection order See Personal Protection Orders Get medical help If you have been injured, go to the emergency room, or urgent care unit, or see your doctor. Advocates may be available through the emergency room for support. Medical records can be important evidence in criminal or civil court cases. Medical records can also help you get a personal protection order. Give all the information you feel safe to give. Medical records are confidential and are not supposed to be given out to anyone but you. Special medical concerns You may not even know you are injured. What seems like a minor injury could be a major one. If you are pregnant and he has beaten you in your stomach, tell the doctor. Many batterers injure unborn children. Battered women are in special danger of closed head injuries because their partners often hit them in the head.
Be specific about where he hit you and what injuries you have. Definition: Domestic violence is a learned pattern of behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other person.
of domestic violence are: emotional abuse through mind games,
name-calling, or put-downs isolation from family or friends
economic abuse by withholding money or being prevented from
getting or holding a job actual or threatened physical harm
sexual assault stalking intimidation The violence can be criminal
and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.),
sexual abuse (unwanted, forced sexual activity), and stalking.
Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not
criminal behaviors, they are forms of domestic violence and can
lead to criminal abuse. The violence takes many forms and can
happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help
yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence
is recognizing the warning signs: Has your partner ever... hit,grabbed,
choked, bitten, burned, slapped or pushed you? used a gun or a
knife or some kind of weapon against you? hit you with some
object like a bat or pan or belt? hit, held or squeezed you so
hard that it left a bruise? threatened to hurt or to kill you or
your children or your friends? withheld money or food or medicine
or transportation from you? called you names, made you feel
ashamed of yourself, humiliated you? put you down in front of
your children, your friends, your boss? forced you to have sex
when you did not want to? forced you to perform sexual acts you
did not want to? destroyed or broken your possessions? threatened
to harm or kill himself if you do or don't do something?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence...young, old, rich, poor, black, white, professional, unemployed. There is no typical profile of domestic violence victims except that they are usually female. Children living in homes where a mother is abused are more likely to be abused themselves. Even if they are not, children who witness abuse are victims. If you are in an abusive situation, REMEMBER You are not alone. You are not to blame. And, you can get help.
Diamond Divas ®1999