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October is National Domestic Violence Month. Since it is 31 October 2019, I gladly write this post to help others.
Instead of stats, let me make this personal. Abuse isn’t always bruises and broken bones (I sure had 100’s of those, though), it is emotional and mental as well. Be with the one who protects you. Stay away from the one who belittles you, disrespects you, is jealous of you, rapes you (a wife can be raped and men can be raped, too), the one who loves a bottle more than life itself, the one who cheats on you all the time, the one who can’t be sober for a child’s birth, the one who threatens to kill you if you try to leave, and so much more. Trust me, you can read about abuse in this book, When Angels Fly, for only .99 cents.
Be with the one who says, “Love you, Hunny Bunny” and not the one who doesn’t care if you are safe or not.
Be with the man who stands by you no matter what. Be with the one who fights for you, no matter how much some family members want him gone. Be with the guy who puts you first and lets you put him first. Be with the man who moves mountains just to get you well and safe.
Forget the guy who only wants a meal and clean clothes. Be with the man who raises your son with you even though he is not the biological father.
Forget and leave the one who puts you down or ridicules you in public so he can completely mortify you.
If you are in a bad situation, help is available.
What Is a Safety Plan?
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.
At The Hotline we safety plan with victims, friends and family members — anyone who is concerned about their own safety or the safety of someone else.
A good safety plan will have all of the vital information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different scenarios.
Although some of the things that you outline in your safety plan may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that in moments of crisis your brain doesn’t function the same way as when you are calm. When adrenaline is pumping through your veins it can be hard to think clearly or make logical decisions about your safety. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help you to protect yourself in those stressful moments.
Safety While Living With An Abusive Partner
Identify your partner’s use and level of force so that you can assess the risk of physical danger to you and your children before it occurs.
Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target. Dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest public phone is located. Know the phone number to your local shelter. If your life is in danger, call the police.
Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house.
Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
Plan for what you will do if your children tells your partner of your plan or if your partner otherwise finds out about your plan.
Keep weapons like guns and knives locked away and as inaccessible as possible.
Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver’s door unlocked and others locked — for a quick escape.
Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day or night.
Because violence could escalate when someone tries to leave, here are some things to keep in mind before you leave:
Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures of injuries.
Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible. Keep your journal in a safe place.
Know where you can go to get help. Tell someone what is happening to you.
If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
Contact your local shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis. WomensLaw.org has state by state legal information.
Acquire job skills or take courses at a community college as you can.
Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.
Restraining Orders/Protective Orders
There are some legal actions you can take to help keep yourself safe from your abusive partner. The Hotline does not give legal advice, nor are we legal advocates, but there are some great resources available to you in your community.
Please call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat with us and our advocates can connect you with resources for legal help.
You can also visit WomensLaw.org and search state by state for information on laws including restraining orders and child custody information.
A protective order can help protect you immediately by legally keeping your partner from physically coming near you, harming you or harassing you, your children or your family members. This legal documentation to keep your abusive partner away from you can often contain provisions related to custody, finance and more.
While protective orders may be able to put a stop to physical abuse, psychological abuse is still possible — so a protective order should never replace a safety plan.
If you already have a protective order, it should be kept on you at all times — and copies should be given to your children and anyone they might be with — especially when you’re leaving your partner.
You can get an application for a protective order at:
Volunteer legal services offices and some police stations.
Other Legal Actions:
You also have the right to file a charge against your partner for things such as criminal assault, aggravated assault, harassment, stalking or interfering with child custody. Ask a volunteer legal services organization (attorneys who provide free legal services to low-income individuals) or an advocacy group in your area about the policies in your local court.
According to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), immigrant women who are experiencing domestic violence — and are married to abusers who are US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents — may qualify to self-petition for legal status under VAWA. Get more information here.
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
How does it work?
When you call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including:
Confidential support from a trained staff member
Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like sexual assault forensic exams
Someone to help you talk through what happened
Local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery
Referrals for long term support in your area
Information about the laws in your community
Basic information about medical concerns
Is it confidential?
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a safe, confidential service. When you call the hotline, only the first six numbers of the phone number are used to route the call, and your complete phone number is never stored in our system. Most states do have laws that require local staff to contact authorities in certain situations, like if there is a child or vulnerable adult who is in danger.
While almost all callers are connected directly to a staff member or volunteer at a local sexual assault service provider, a handful of providers use an answering service after daytime business hours. This service helps manage the flow of calls. If all staff members are busy, you may choose to leave a phone number with the answering service. In this case, the number will be confidential and will be given directly to the organization’s staff member for a callback. If you reach an answering service, you can try calling back after some time has passed, or you can choose to call during regular business hours when more staff members are available. You can also access 24/7 help online by visiting online.rainn.org.
Who are the sexual assault service providers?
Sexual assault service providers are organizations or agencies dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault. The providers who answer calls placed to the hotline are known as RAINN affiliates. To be part of the National Sexual Assault Hotline, affiliates must agree to uphold RAINN’s confidentiality standards. That means:
Never releasing records or information about the call without the consent of the caller, except when obligated by law
Only making reports to the police or other agencies when the caller consents, unless obligated by law
How was the National Sexual Assault Hotline created?
The National Sexual Assault Hotline was the nation’s first decentralized hotline, connecting those in need with help in their local communities. It’s made up of a network of independent sexual assault service providers, vetted by RAINN, who answer calls to a single, nationwide hotline number. Since it was first created in 1994, the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) has helped more than 3 million people affected by sexual violence.
Before the telephone hotline was created, there was no central place where survivors could get help. Local sexual assault services providers were well equipped to handle support services, but the lack of a national hotline meant the issue did not receive as much attention as it should. In response, RAINN developed a unique national hotline system to combine all the advantages of a national organization with all the abilities and expertise of local programs. One nationwide hotline number makes it easier for survivors to be connected with the help they deserve.
Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via confidential online chat.
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Originally posted on The Art of Blogging: Do you want to be a successful blogger? Do ideas for posts randomly pop into your head whenever, wherever? Do you think about ways to improve your blog? How to write more? Better? Faster? Do you study what the most successful bloggers have done to get to where…