Domestic Violence Information For You
Helpful PDFs to Download
Identifying Domestic Violence
How can you identify domestic violence? Ask yourself the following questions about your relationship.
Does Your Partner
- Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing or talking to friends or family?
- Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
- Make all the decisions?
- Tell you you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
- Act like the abuse is not a big deal, is your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
- Shove you, slap you or hit you?
- Force you to drop charges?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
- Threaten to kill you?
If you checked even one, you may be in an abusive relationship.
Source - National Domestic Violence Hotline
Tips for Survivors
Transitioning from victim to survivor, coming to terms with closure and moving forward may be a hard thing to do but it is well worth it.
- Put yourself first
- Cut off contact with your ex
- Surround yourself with support
- Consider counseling
Safety and Technology
Your computer activity can be monitored or checked without your knowledge. If you think your computer activity is being monitored, be aware of how you use the computer. Use a safer computer to do research on an exit plan, lawyers, help or a new apartment. Think about creating a new email address that the abuser does not know about.
Your cell phone may be monitored. The abuser can be watching your phone activity without your knowledge. Making toll-free calls may show up on the phone bill.
Safety While Preparing to Leave an Abusive Relationship
Leaving an abusive relationship may be the most dangerous time for you. Having a safety plan in order could improve your level of safety in that case.
- Change your regular travel habits. Try not to frequent the same stores or businesses you did when with your abuser.
- Try to set aside some money. Start your own savings or checking account. Use the address of a trusted friend or family member when setting up the account.
- Keep a written list of important phone numbers with you.
- Get a new phone and new service plan when you leave, and leave your original phone behind.
- Have a packed bag ready. Keep it hidden in your home or leave the bag with friends, family, or at work if possible.
- Items and documents to take:
- Birth and marriage certificates
- ID and Social Security cards
- School records, medical records and medicine
- Passports, green cards, work permits, protective order, divorce papers, custody orders, bank papers
After Leaving an Abusive Relationship
Consider letting friends, neighbors, and co-workers know about your situation and how they can help you stay safe. Consider carefully which people to invite to help secure your safety.
If you have a protective order, always carry a copy with you. Make and keep copies for work, your car, and your home. Call the police and document when the protective order is broken.
If you are moving consider talking to your local shelter program about temporary shelter or other services they could provide. If you need to conceal your new location, consider Safe at Home program.
If you are staying in your home consider changing your locks or installing stronger doors. If the exchange of children is necessary, arrange a safe, neutral place to do the exchange. If your abuser comes to your home, you do not have to let him in. Keep the doors closed and locked, and call the police.