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Protect Yourself from Domestic Violence

Protect Yourself from Domestic Violence

If you live with someone who abuses you or if someone is stalking you, you need to take immediate measures to protect yourself. You are in further danger if your abuser or stalker talks about murder or suicide. Statistics prove that you are in the greatest amount of danger if you are thinking about, or are in the process of, leaving the abusive relationship.

Because of the risk of being seriously hurt or killed when leaving an abusive relationship, it is important to develop a safe plan for departure. The Crisis Intervention Center provides a Helpline, 410-535-1121 or 301-855-1075 with staff trained to advise you on how to protect yourself, find shelter and seek an advocate to help you obtain a protective order from the court.

If you are living with your abusive partner:

  • Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.
  • Identify safe areas of the house. Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits (such as closets or bathrooms) or rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen). If possible, head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window.
  • Be prepared to leave at a moments notice. Keep the car fueled up and facing the driveway exit, with the driver’s door unlocked. Hide a spare car key where you can get it quickly. Have emergency cash, clothing, and important phone numbers and documents stashed in a safe place (at a friend’s house, for example).
  • Practice escaping quickly and safely. Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack from your abuser. If you have children, have them practice the escape plan also.
  • Come up with a code word. Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends, neighbors, or co-workers know that you are in danger and that the police should be called.
  • Make and memorize a list of emergency contacts. Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a place to stay, or help contacting the police. Memorize the numbers of your emergency contacts and Crisis Intervention Center Helpline.
  • Keep cash on you at all times. Know where the nearest public phone is located and have change available so you can use it in an emergency.

Additionally, to keep yourself safe from domestic violence you should document all abuse. If you have been injured, take photographs. If you have been abused in front of others, ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Finally, do not hesitate to call the police if your abuser has hurt you or broken the law. Assaulting you, stealing from you, and destroying your property are all crimes.

Domestic Violence Escape Kit 
 Pack a survival kit that includes:
  • Money for cab fare
  • A change of clothes
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Birth certificates
  • Drivers license or passport
  • Medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Insurance information
  • Checkbook
  • Credit cards
  • Legal documents such as separation agreements and protective orders
  • Address books
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Papers that show jointly owned property

  Conceal it in the home or leave it with a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative.   Important papers can also be left in a bank deposit box.

 


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