Reprinted by LSCCI with permission of A Safe Place, Inc.
Every Home Should be
A Safe Place
A Safe Place, Inc.
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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

PARTNER ABUSE

DATING VIOLENCE

SPOUSAL ABUSE

BATTERING
A Safe Place, Inc.
9 Bayberry Court
Nantucket Commons
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Office Phone: (508) 228-0561
24 Hour Confidential Hot Line:
(508) 228-2111

All victim services are free and confidential and are available to all women and men.

BY 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 . . .

YOU ARE ABUSED
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 spend
  • 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 behavior.

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 control?
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 enough?
  • constantly making up excuses why you can't do something with your friends?
  • 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.

Tension Builds:
  • 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...

Violence Occurs
  • 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...

Honeymoon
  • 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

Then soon...

Tension Builds…

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...

Economics - 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.

Fear - 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.

Love/Family - 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")

If 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 hear anything.
  • 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, etc,).
  • 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 Place.
  • Make a list of things you will want to bring with you. For example:
  • 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 support.

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 children.)
  • 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 relationship)
  • 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...
  • 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!
Batterers need to understand that their behavior is unacceptable and take responsibility for their own behavior.

Help is out there if they want it.

They can call A Safe Place at 228-2111 for more information.

About you...
  • 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!


A Safe Place, Inc.
9 Bayberry Court
Nantucket Commons
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Office Phone: (508) 228-0561
24 Hour Confidential Hot Line:
(508) 228-2111

All victim services are free and confidential and are available to all women and men.


Reprinted with Permission

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