|Reprinted by LSCCI with permission of A Safe Place,
|Every Home Should be
A Safe Place
|A Safe Place, Inc.
9 Bayberry Court
Office Phone: (508) 228-0561
Confidential Hot Line:
victim services are free and confidential and are available to
all women and men.
ANY NAME, WHEN THE PERSON YOU ARE DATING, LIVING WITH, MARRIED
TO, OR OTHERWISE ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH USES FORCE OR
INTIMIDATION TO CONTROL YOU OR FRIGHTEN YOU . . .
|The person you love may ...
- track all of your time
- accuse you of being unfaithful
- hinder your relationships with family and friends
- push, punch, slap, kick or bite you
- prevent you from working or attending school
- criticize you for little things
- control all finances and force you to account for what you
- call you names, put you down, or otherwise humiliate you in
private or in front of others
- destroy your personal property or sentimental items
- block your way or otherwise restrain you
- threaten to hurt you or your children
- use or threaten to use a weapon against you
- force you to have sex against your will
|These are all forms of abusive
Does the person you love...
- blame you for his unhappiness?
- view and defend violence as a means to an end?
- feel socially isolated, often mistrusting others?
- act overly possessive or jealous?
- blame violence on other influences such as alcohol or loss of
|These are warning signs that the person
you love may be a batterer.
Are you ...
- always fearful that you will do or say something "wrong"?
- overly critical of your own appearance?
- worried that your home may not be clean enough or attractive
- constantly making up excuses why you can't do something with
- always trying to please your partner?
- lonely or depressed?
|These are signs that you may be abused.
There is usually a pattern of
behavior in an abusive relationship.
- You may feel as though you're "walking on eggs/eggshells"
- Your partner may start yelling more often
- Your partner may threaten you
|The tension builds to a point where...
- Your partner may harm you personally (beating you, throwing
you, using weapons)
- Your partner may direct violence at you without touching your
body (for instance, punching the wall next to your head,
throwing things at you)
- Your partner may harm your pets
|When the explosion is over, your
partner acts as if you are on your...
- He may buy you flowers, jewelry, or take you out to dinner
- He's the guy you fell in love with in the first place
- If you are seriously injured, he may nurse you back to health
and be concerned for your wellbeing
- He may apologize and tell you it will never happen again
This pattern Is typical of
an abusive relationship; however, not all abusive
relationships follow this cycle of battering.
Approximately 95% of victims of domestic violence are women;
however, violence happens in both gay and lesbian relationships and,
in a small number of cases, by women against men. For the purpose of
making this a more easily readable document, we refer to the better
as a male and the woman as his partner.
Many people feel they have to
stay in the relationship or that they are trapped. There are many
reasons why, but a few are...
- For many reasons, the money issue may be like a brick wall that
you run up against especially if you have kids. But, you do have
choices and may still be able to force him to leave, if that's safe,
or you can leave, and be able to live without his money. For
instance, you can find another single parent who can share a home,
utility bills, childcare, etc. The benefits from this kind of
arrangement are enormous.
Your partner may have threatened to harm you or your children if you
try to leave. You are not alone and this may be a valid fear. You
know your partner best and if you think he may kill you, develop
ways to keep yourself and your children safe while in the
relationship and develop a plan for the future.
- You may truly love your partner and if you have children, may feel
they need their father. The truth, however, is that kids often are
much better off with parents who are separated than remaining in an
abusive home. (See "About the kids")
you truly feel you must stay in this relationship for whatever
reason, you can make it safer to be there ...
Develop a plan to keep you and your children safe...
If you need to leave in a hurry, you probably won 't be
thinking clearly. The following is a way for you to just be able to
look at a sheet of paper and know what you need without having to
remember everything. All you need to remember is where you hide the
sheet of paper and please - do keep it hidden from your partner. (If
you would like a form, they are available at A Safe Place.)
- Write down four phone numbers of places you can call for
help. For instance, 91 1, A Safe Place hot line (228-211 1), a
friend, a neighbor.
- List two neighbors you can ask to keep an ear out for
suspicious noises coming from your home and to call 911 if they
- List four places you can go if you do leave in a hurry
(examples would be: a friend, family members, or A Safe Place)
and know how you will get there (a cab, a friend, your own car,
- Pack a suitcase with extra money, clothes for you and your
kids, car keys, and copies of important documents and leave the
suitcase with someone you trust or confidentially at A Safe
- Make a list of things you will want to bring with you. For
- identification, passports, welfare ID, driver's license
- birth certificates and social security cards for your kids
- lease or deed to house, mortgage payment book and bills
- extra money, bank passbooks, credit cards, checkbooks
- address book
- medications for you and your children
- insurance papers
- school and medical records
- extra car keys and house keys
- pictures, jewelry, sentimental items
- kids' favorite toys and/or blankets
Other things you can do ...
- Always have change for a pay phone.
- Hide money at A Safe Place. You can add to it as you are
able; you can get it whenever you need to, day or night.
- Make an extra car key and hide it where you can get to it
quickly if you need to escape.
- If you feel you are in danger, don't let him "trap"
you into a room - try to stay in a room that has a clear way
out; don't go to the kitchen or bathroom - these are the most
dangerous rooms in the house.
- Rehearse an escape plan. - See a doctor. You may have
injuries you are unaware of; also, medical records can be useful
in court, if necessary.
- Obtain a 209A Abuse Prevention Order.
- Call A Safe Place hot line (228-2111) for information and/or
About the kids... Even
though your partner may never intentionally harm your children, the
reality is that kids do get hurt living in a home where there is an
abusive relationship between parents/parent figures...
- Believe it or not, your kids know what's going on - even if
you think they didn't see it, they did "witness" it.
(Studies show that children in violent homes do not have to
actually see the violence with their own eyes to know that it's
there, they hear it from the other room, they see the results in
other ways such as bruising, despondency, and attitudes of one
or both parents.)
- Children are at risk of physical injury...
- Your partner may deliberately hit your child. (In general,
70% of men who abuse their female partners also abuse their
- You may deliberately hit your child. (Eight times as many
women report using physical discipline on their children while
with the batterer than when living alone or in a non-abusive
- They may be injured accidentally. (many batterers
inadvertently injure children while throwing about furniture or
other household objects when abusing their partners. The
youngest children sustain the most serious injuries, such as
concussions and broken shoulders and ribs)
- Children learn what they live. They will learn that violence
is an acceptable way to express anger, frustration,
dissatisfaction, etc. and thereby view these behaviors as normal
in adult relationships. (Many partners in abusive relationships
grew up in an abusive home - the children tend to become either
victims or batterers themselves)
- Children suffer in many other ways that you may not be aware
of. Studies show that children who witness one parent being
abused by another generally suffer poor health, low self-esteem,
poor impulse control, sleeping difficulties, and feelings of
powerlessness. They are at high risk for alcohol and drug use,
sexual acting out, running away from home, isolation,
loneliness, fear and suicide.
About the batterer...
Batterers need to understand that their behavior is
unacceptable and take responsibility for their own behavior.
- He is in control He may say that he just "loses
it" and can't control his anger. More than likely though,
you are the only one he harms not his friends or his
boss -- he is in control of 'what he's doing.
- Giving up the drinking is not enough to stop the
violence. Many batterers blame use of alcohol/drugs as the
cause of their violence - this is simply not true! It is just a
"good" excuse to deny a very different sort of problem
- the battering.
- The violence is his choice. He may say you "push
his buttons" or "drive him over the edge" but
violence is not the healthy way to deal with that. He chooses to
be violent and that is not your fault!
Help is out there if they want it.
can call A Safe Place at 228-2111 for more information.
- You are stronger than he's made you believe you are.
- You are somebody special.
- People will believe you.
- You can get help.
- It's your life and you can have control over it.
- You are not alone!
- You do not deserve it... no one does!
9 Bayberry Court
Office Phone: (508) 228-0561
Hour Confidential Hot Line:
victim services are free and confidential and are available to all
women and men.
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