Recognizing Domestic Violence
Please click here to help recognize if you or someone you care about is being abused: http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/
Personal safety is a priority for all the victims in the home, including the children. While developing a safety plan there are two decisions to consider*:
- The decision to stay
- The decision to leave
If the decision is to stay . . .
Plan for emergencies that may occur.
Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs. Avoid rooms with no exits (bathrooms) or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
Communicate with child (or children) about safe areas in the house, running to a neighbor, calling for help, and staying away from the abuser.
Reassure the children that their job is to stay safe, not to protect the victim.
Be aware that current technology allows an abuser to use phone redial, caller ID, and numerous other codes to trace incoming and outgoing phone calls.
Communicate with family members, friends, and co-workers. Develop a support system.
Call the police if there is danger.
Consider gathering and packing items for an "escape bag." This will allow for a quick escape if the situation escalates. This bag may include: spare keys, spare change, copies of important papers (birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver's license, and important phone numbers), change of clothes, and items needed for babies or children. Consider having a friend or family member keep this for you.
If the decision is to leave . . .
When I leave, I should have**
- Identification for myself
- Children's birth certificate
- My birth certificate
- Social security cards
- School and vaccination records
- Checkbook, ATM (Automatic Tellers Machine) card
- Credit cards
- Keys - house/car/office
- Driver's license and registration
- Welfare identification, work permits
- Green card, Passport(s), Divorce papers
- Medical records - for all family members
- Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book
- Bank books, Insurance papers
- Small saleable objects
- Address book
- Pictures, jewelry
- Children's favorite toys and/or blankets
- Items of special sentimental value
* Compiled from CASA website at http://www.casa-stpete.org/get-help,safety-plan
**Compiled from Metro Police website
Shelters Within the US
If you need a referral to a domestic violence shelter or program in your area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or (800) 787-3224 (TTY).
For more resources for victims, advocates and researchers, please see our section Resources.