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Domestic Violence

Signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship:

You are fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time; You feel that you can’t do anything right
You feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt;
You are afraid that your partner may try to kill you; You feel emotionally numb;
Your partner blames their violence on stress, alcohol, or a “bad day”;
Your partner is unpredictable; has a violent and threatening behavior;
Your partner has a bad temper; threatens to hurt you or kill you;
Your partner has hurt you physically;
Your partner threatened to take your children away from you, if you try to leave them;
Your partner threatens to commit suicide, as a way of keeping you from leaving;
Your partner forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to;
Your partner threatened you at work, in person and or on the phone;
Your partner is cruel to animals when they are angry;
Your partner has destroyed your belongings and household objects;
Your partner tries to keep you from seeing your friends or family;
You are embarrassed to invite friends or family over to your house because of your partner’s behavior;
Your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car;
Your partner tries to stop you from going where you want to go outside of the house;
Your partner is jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been;
Your partner checks up on you, and accuse you of having an affair; verbally abuses you;
Your partner humiliates and criticizes you in front of others; often ignores you and put you down;
Your partner always insists that they are right, even when they are clearly wrong;
Your partner sees you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person.

Safety Planning Checklist
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Safety Planning Checklist

If you are planning or thinking about leaving the relationship, try to take the following identifications:

Developing a Safety Plan:

A safety plan, or protection plan, is a tool to help you identify possible ways to protect the victim.

Each person’s safety plan will be unique to her/his situation. However there are some common strategies that may assist the victim.

Non-emergency Preparation and Planning

Prepare for clothing needs – clothes for self and children (store a suitcase in home).
Prepare for financial needs - take extra cash, savings, check books and other valuables.
Prepare children – take something meaningful for each child (ex pillows) – assist in easing the transition.
Prepare for legal action – put legal documents in a safe and accessible place – take financial documents (records of incomes, household bills, mortgages, utilities – these will help in completing financial statements in case of legal action) identification (drivers license, social security card, birth certificate), copies of restraining orders, evidence of abuse (medical doctors/medical records, police involved, witnesses.

Emergency Safety Plan: When victim is living with the abuser
Advise of dv complaint/tro, fro.
Make an extra set of car keys (keep in place other than purse).
Make a list of situations in which violence may escalate.
Explore layout of house, access to telephones.
Develop a plan for leaving the house – if violence occurs away from home develop a plan for leaving abuser.
Notify neighbors to be on alert to suspicious noises – call police.
Give children code word when you want them to call for help – teach children how to use the telephone and contact the police.
Know safe places you can go to leave a dangerous situation.
Have the local number to the battered women’s shelter.
When victim is separated from abuser – severity or frequency may escalate during the separation.

During a Violent Incident:

Leave the home if possible.
If can’t leave – move to a room of low risk (avoid bathroom, garage, kitchen or rooms with weapons) – try to get a room with a lock and access to telephone.
Call police (911) – have children scream to alert a neighbor.
If able to leave by car lock doors immediately – keep them locked until in a safe place.

Safety Plan with a Restraining Order
Keep a copy of restraining order on or near your person at all times.
Give copies of restraining order to local police departments, children’s school, family/friends.
Inform as many neighbors, relatives, co-workers and friends as possible that the restraining order is in effect.
If abuser violates the restraining order contact the police (mandatory arrest) – contact your attorney/advocate/advise court.
If abuser charged with a crime stay in contact with police, prosecutor and/or victim witness coordinator to be advised if abuser is being released from jail .
With fro change locks to residence.

DEVELOPING A SAFETY PLAN

I. Non-Emergency Preparation and Planning:

A. Make an extra set of car keys and hide them in an easy place to reach ( )

B. Prepare clothing needs – clothes for self and children. Store in a suitcase in home and hide in a secure location. Or, store them at a trusted friend’s home. Try to avoid using next-door neighbors, close family members, and mutual friends. ( )
 
C. Prepare for financial needs (place in accessible location):

1. Extra Cash ( )
2. Check and Savings Books ( )
3. Other Valuables (i.e. jewelry, coins, etc.) ( )

D. Prepare for children’s needs (where children are involved):

1. Take something meaningful for each child (blanket, pillow, etc.) ( )
2. Discuss what is happening if you must leave the home. ( )
3. Identify a safe place for children to go and plan with them. ( )

E. Prepare for possible legal action. Keep all documents in a safe place:

1. Financial documents
    a. Pay stubs: yours (if you are working) and spouse’s ( )
    b. Household bills (including mortgage payments, utilities, etc.) ( )
    c. Stocks, bonds, and any other joint financial holdings ( )
2. Identification (driver’s license, birth certificates, social security card) ( )
3. Copies of restraining orders, evidence of past abuse ( )
4. Copies of medical and doctor’s records, police reports, evidence of physical abuse such as photographs  ( )
5. Names of any witness (es) to present or past incidents ( )
6. Keep handy a record of critical phone numbers  ( )

II. Emergency Safety Plan (when living with the abuser):

A. Plan an escape route from home before it is needed. ( )

B. Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. ( )

C. Make a list of situations in which violence may occur or escalate. ( )

D. Carefully explore the layout of your house and access to telephones. ( )

E. Develop and rehearse a place for leaving the home if violence occurs. ( )

F. If violence occurs away from home, develop a plan for escaping the abuser. ( )

G. Notify trusted neighbors to be on alert to suspicious noises and to call the police. ( )

H. Develop a code word with children when you want them to call for help. ( )

I. Teach children how to use the phone to contact the police.   ( )

J. Know safe places you can go to leave a dangerous situation. ( ) (AVOID KITCHENS, BATHROOMS, GARAGE OR ANY OTHER ROOM CONTAINING POSSIBLE WEAPONS. REMOVE POSSIBLE WEAPONS, SUCH AS KNIVES, FROM EASY ACCESS)

K. Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well. ( )

L. Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you or otherwise hurt you.  ( )

M. Keep the number of the local battered women’s agency in a safe place.   ( )

III. When a Violent Incident Occurs:

A. Leave the home immediately. ( )

B. If leaving is not possible, move ASAP to a room of low risk.  ( ) TRY TO AVOID THOSE ROOMS OF HIGH RISK (SEE II., J.)

C. Call 911 for the police. ( )

D. Have children scream to alert neighbors. ( )

E. If able to leave by car, LOCK CAR DOORS IMMEDIATELY. 

IV. Safety Plan with a Restraining Order:

A. Keep a copy of the restraining order on or near you at all times. ( )

B. Give copies of restraining orders to local police departments, children’s schools, trusted family and friends.  ( )

C. Inform as many neighbors, relatives, friends, and your co-workers as soon as possible that the restraining order is in effect. ( )

D. If the abuser violates the restraining order, CONTACT THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.  ( )

E. CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY/ADVOCATE AND ADVISE THE COURT. ( )

F. If your abuser is charged with a crime, STAY IN CONTACT WITH THE POLICE AND/OR VICTIM WITNESS COORDINATOR TO BE ADVISED IF ABUSER IS BEING RELEASED FROM JAIL!  ( )

G. When the final restraining order is in effect, CHANGE ALL LOCKS TO YOUR RESIDENCE!   ( )

V. Once you Leave:

A. Consider renting a post office box or using the address of a friend for your mail. ( )

B. Be careful to whom you give your new address and phone number. ( )

C. Change routines wherever possible:

1. Work hours.
2. Routes you travel to work, children’s schools or any other place you frequent.  ( )

D. Change place of worship. ( )

E. Alert school authorities of situation. ( )

F. Consider changing your children’s schools ( )

G. Reschedule appointments of which the offender is aware. ( )

H. Use different stores and go to different social spots. ( )

I. Tell people at work to have phone calls screened. ( )

J. Tell people who take care of your children which people are allowed to pick up your children. Provide them with a copy of the restraining order.  ( )

K. Request caller ID. Ask that your phone be blocked so that your new number does not show up on anyone else’s display.  ( )

Printable Checklist - To View On-Line: Left Click on the Document; To Download: Right Click & Select "Save Target As".  You will need Adobe Reader to view the file. Click here to get Adobe Reader (free download)

 

 
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