You can help protect yourself
- Find out about shelters and safe houses BEFORE you need them.
- Have photos taken of your injuries; you can use them later.
- Keep money, important papers, clothes, car keys and other essential items in a safe place.
- Teach your children to use the telephone to contact the police in case of an emergency.
- Meet with an advocate from a shelter or other program designed to help or with a friend, and make a safety plan. Practice this plan with your children.
If you become a victim of domestic violence:
- Call the police.
- Make sure you are safe from continued violence. When you believe you are in danger, leave home and take your children with you. Also take important papers like your driver’s license, birth certiﬁcates, vehicle registration, etc.
- Get medical attention. Don’t try to treat yourself-you may be more hurt than you realize.
- Seek assistance. Whether or not you decide to ﬁle charges, you may need to talk to a professional about your situation. Contact your local shelter, support group or victim’s assistance center.
- Save all the evidence (proof) that you can. You may want to take pictures of any injuries. If you decide to ﬁle charges later, you will need proof of your injuries.
It’s not your fault…
- You did NOT cause the abuse.
- No one has the right to abuse you.
- Know that most children raised with abuse learn to use violence as one way to control others by using power and force.
- Know that relationships based on fear, power, and control are abusive.
- Know that others understand why you would want to stay and that leaving a relationship is not easy.
A way out
Everyone has the right to be safe from threats and violence—but YOU must take the ﬁrst step. Once you recognize that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT, and it IS possible to change your situation, seek the help you need.