What can you do to protect yourself?
- Talk with a friend or relative you trust about what's going on. They may be a good source of support.
Talk to a domestic violence advocate about obtaining an Order of Protection.
- Contact your local domestic violence program to find out about laws and community resources (i.e. shelters, counseling, legal assistance) before you need them. They can help you plan ways to stay safe.
Always seek medical attention if you are injured in any way or physically assaulted by your abusive partner. The information regarding injuries will be documented in your medical record. This information will assist police, prosecutors and healthcare in helping you. This information can be very useful for obtaining legal assistance.
- Arrange a signal with a neighbor to let them know when you need help (i.e. turning a porch light on during the day or pulling down a particular window shade).
- Keep some money stored in a secret place so that you have access to it in an emergency, or if you decide to leave, be sure to include some coins so you can make calls from a public phone if you need to. You can also pack a change of clothes ( and personal care items, an extra set of glasses, important legal papers, etc.) for yourself and your children and ask a neighbor and/or friend to keep it, along with an extra set of keys, in case you need to leave quickly.
- Ask your local domestic violence program about getting a 911 cellular phone, this is a free service. The phone is a direct dial to 911 operator and it may help you to feel safer wherever you are.
- If you are being stalked, get to a public place and ask someone to call for help. Use your 911 cellular phone if you have one.
- If you decide to leave, take important papers with you:
- birth certificates
- health insurance documents
- photo ID/drivers license
- immunization records
- food stamps
- Social Security cards
for both you and your children.
for Domestic Violence!