What Can A Victim Of Abuse Do To Be Safe?
You may be scared of reporting the abusive incident, fearing that your husband or partner will find out and increase his brutality. However, there is hope. Help is available to a victim of abuse and there are agencies that will specifically cater to your emotional and legal needs. All you have to do is ask. It is likely to happen again so it is best to figure out what you have to do to survive.
If you are a victim of abuse and feel you are in danger from your abuser at any time or are already suffering from abuse, call 911 or your local police. The police have established a protocol for this type of abuse. HAVEN may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911. These phones are for when you need to call the police and cannot get to any other phone because the abuser has severed all communications at your home.
Consider the following:
If you are in danger when the police come, they can protect you. They can help you and your children leave your home safely. They can arrest your abuser when they have enough proof that you have been abused. They can arrest your abuser if a personal protection order (PPO) has been violated. When the police come, tell them everything the abuser did that made you call. If you have been hit, tell the police where. Tell them how many times it happened. Show them any marks left on your body. Marks may take time to show up. If you see a mark after the police leave, call the police to take pictures of the marks. They may be used in court. If your abuser has broken any property, show the police. The police can give you information on domestic violence programs and shelters. The police must make a report saying what happened to you. Police reports can be used in court if your abuser is charged with a crime. Get the officers’ names, badge numbers, and the report number in case you need a copy of the report. A police report can be used to help you get a PPO.
You may be confused or embarrassed of what you are going through but it is important to tell your family, friends and co-workers. If you are a victim of abuse, get support from friends and family. They can provide support and shelter for you and your children. If you are able to leave the abuser, it is best to stay with relatives as they can give you protection without causing more conflict with your partner.
It is understandable not wanting to leave the home that you built. It is not fair, neither is the abuse. You should not have to leave your home because of what your abuser has done. But sometimes, it is the only way you for you to be safe. If you are a victim of abuse, find a safe place. There are shelters that can help you move to a different city or state. HAVEN can put you in touch with them.
If you are a victim of abuse and have been physically hurt, get medical help, go to the hospital or your doctor. Domestic violence advocates (people to help you such as social services) may be called to the hospital. They are there to give you support and access to government agencies. You may ask medical staff to call one for you.
Medical records are important in court cases. They can also help you get a PPO. Give all the information about your injuries and who hurt you that you feel safe to give.
Special medical concerns:
Sometimes you may not even know you are hurt. What seems like a small injury could be a big one. If you are pregnant and you were hit in your stomach, tell the doctor. Many abusers hurt unborn children. A victim of abuse can be in danger of closed head injuries. This is because their abusers often hit them in the head. If any of these things happen after a hit to the head, get medical care right away. Memory loss. Dizziness. Problems with eyesight. Throwing-up. Headache that will not go away.
If you are a victim of abuse, get a personal protection order. It can protect you from being hit, threatened, harassed, or stalked by your abuser.
Lastly, make a safety plan. Plan what to do before or when you feel unsafe. If you are a victim of abuse, your safety is the most important thing.