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Domestic Violence Safety Plan Step 1 

If I decide to leave, I will __________________________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes would you use?)

I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them _________________________ (place) in order to leave quickly. (Often good to get a spare set of keys made)

I can tell _______________________about the violence and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my house.

I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact the police and the fire department.

I will use _______________________________________as my code for my children or my friends so they can call for help.

If I have to leave my home, I will go ______________________________ (Decide this even if you don’t think there will be a next time). If I cannot go to the location above, then I can go to ___________________________________________.

I can also teach some of these strategies to some/all of my children.

When I expect we are going to have an argument, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as _________________________________ ( Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons, or in rooms without access to an outside door).

I will use my judgment and intuition. If the situation is very serious, I can give my partner what he/she wants to calm him/her down. I have to protect myself until I/we are out of danger.

 Step 2 Safety When Preparing To Leave 

I can use some or all the following strategies:

I will leave money and an extra set of keys with _______________________ so that I can leave quickly.

I will keep copies of important papers and documents or an extra set of keys at __________________________________________.

I will open a savings account by _________________________________, to increase my independence.

Other things I can do to increase my independence include:

The domestic violence program’s hotline telephone number is _________________________ and I can seek shelter by calling this hotline.

I can keep change for phone calls on me at all times. I understand that if I use my telephone credit card, the following month the telephone bill will tell my batterer those numbers that I called after I left. To keep my telephone communications confidential, I must either use coins or I might get a friend to permit me to use their telephone credit card for a limited time when I first leave.

I will check with _______________________________________and _______________________________________to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money in an emergency.

I can leave extra clothes with _______________________________________.

I will sit down and review my safety plan every _________________________ in order to plan the safest way to leave the residence.

_____________________________________ (domestic violence advocate/friend) has agreed to help me review this plan.

I will rehearse my escape plan and, as appropriate, practice it with my children.

Step 3 Safety in My Own Residence

I can change the locks on my doors and windows as soon as possible.

I can replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors.

I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, an electronic system, etc.

I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.

I can install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for each floor in my house/apartment.

I can install an outside lighting system that lights up when a person is coming close to my house.

I will teach my children how to use the telephone to make a collect call to me and to _______________________ (friend/family) in the event that my partner takes the children.

I will tell people who take care of my children which people have permission to pick up my children and that my partner is not permitted to do so. The people I will inform about pick-up permission include:

________________________________________(School)

________________________________________(Day Care Staff)

________________________________________(Babysitter)

________________________________________(Sunday School Teacher)

________________________________________(Teacher)

________________________________________(             )

________________________________________(             )

I can inform _________________________________________, and _______________________________________(neighbors), ________________________(pastor), and they should call police if he/she is observed near my residence.

 Step 4 Safety With an Order of Protection 

I will keep my protection order ____________________________________(location) (Always keep it on or near your person. If you change purses, that’s the first thing that should go in).

I will give my protection order to police departments in the communities where I usually visit family or friends and in the community where I live and work.

I can call local domestic violence programs if I have questions or if I have some problem with my protection order.

I will inform my employer, my minister, my closest friend, my relatives, and _________________________________________ and _________________________ that I have a protection order.

If my partner destroys my protection order, I can get another copy from the court clerk where they order was issued.

If my partner violates the protection order, I can call the police and report the violation, contact my attorney, call my advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation.

If the police do not help, I can contact my advocate or attorney and will file a complaint with the chief of the police for that department.

 Step 5 Safety on the Job and in Public 

I can inform my boss, the security supervisor and ____________________ at work about my situation.

I can ask _________________________________ to help screen my telephone calls at work.

When leaving work, I can ________________________________________.

When driving home if problems occur, I can ______________________________.

If I use public transit, I can ___________________________________________.

 I will go to different grocery stores and shopping malls to conduct my business and shop at hours that are different than those when residing with my batterer partner.

 I can use a different bank and take care of my banking  at hours different than those I used when residing with my batterer partner.

 I can also _____________________________________________________________.

 Step 6 Safety and Drug or Alcohol Use 

If I am going to use, I can do so in a safe place and with people who understand the risk of violence and are committed to my safety.

 I can also _______________________________________________.

If my partner is using, I can __________________________________________.

I might also ___________________________________________________.

To safeguard my children, I might ___________________________________ and ___________________________________.

 Step 7 Safety and My Emotional Health 

If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation, I can ________________________________________.

When I have to communicate with my partner in person or by telephone, I can __________________________________________.

I can try to use “I can…” statements with myself and to be assertive with others.

I can tell myself- “__________________________________________________________-“ whenever I feel others are trying to control or abuse me.

I can read ________________________________________ to help me feel stronger.

I can call ___________________________________ and ____________________ as other resources to be of support of me.

Other things I can do to help me feel stronger are _______________________________.

I can attend workshops and support groups at the domestic violence program or ____________________________________, or _______________________________ to gain support and strengthen my relationship with other people.

 Step 8 When I Leave, I Should 

  • Identification for myself
  • Children’s birth certificate
  • My birth certificate
  • Social Security Cards
  • School and vaccination records
  • Money
  • Checkbook, ATM card, credit cards
  • Keys
  • Driver’s license
  • Medication
  • Paperwork/Documents
  • Medical records
  • Lease/Rental agreement, house deed
  • Bank books
  • Small saleable objects
  • Address book, pictures, jewelry
  • Children’s favorite toy, book, blanket
  • Items of special sentimental value

 Telephone numbers I need to know: Advocate                    ____________________Counselor                   ____________________Local Police                ____________________Crisis Line                  ____________________Shelter                        ____________________ Work number ____________________Supervisor’s home     ____________________Minister                      ____________________ I will keep this document in a safe place and out of the reach of my potential attacker. Review date               ____________________

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Emotional:

  • Joking and insults
  • Ignoring or minimizing feelings
  • Withholds approval and emotional support as punishment
  • Yelling, name calling
  • Repeated insults, degrading
  • Targeted insults, or labeling
  • Belittling and private humiliation
  • Public humiliation
  • Blaming and accusing
  • Demands all attention
  • Resentful of children or marriage
  • Threats against children or marriage
  • Threats to take the children
  • Degrading role as mate, lover, or partner
  • Giving mixed signals
  • Lack of cause and effect
  • Questions sense of reality
  • Depression
  • Nervous breakdown
  • Mental illness
  • Complete isolation/withdrawn
  • Suicide by victim

Physical:

  • Refusal to meet physical needs of dependents
  • Push, shove
  • Strangle, beat
  • Jerk, slap, bite, pinch
  • Shake, bruising
  • Withholding sex and affection
  • Hit, punch, kick
  • Targeted hitting
  • Repeated hitting
  • Use of objects as weapons
  • Throwing victim
  • Restraining while hitting or punching
  • Abuse during pregnancy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lacerations, broken bones, internal injuries
  • Use of weapons
  • Disabling or disfiguring
  • Murder

Sexual:

  • Sexual jokes or demeaning gender remarks
  • Jealousy, assumes you are sexual with others
  • Unwanted touching
  • Criticism of sexuality
  • Name calling with sexual epithets
  • Forced to look at/engage in pornography
  • Demanding monogamy from victim despite promiscuous behavior by batterer
  • Coercive/demanding sex (use of threats)
  • Humiliation
  • Forceful sex (rape)
  • Forced, uncomfortable sex
  • Coercive/demanding sex after pregnancy or surgery
  • Rape resulting in permanent injury
  • Rape with imprisonment
  • Rape with murder

Social/Environmental

  • Uses gender myths and roles. Eliminate support system
  • Uses sexism, racism and/or homophobia. Prevents victim from learning English, degrades culture, religion or nationality
  • Alienates victim’s family/friends profession, gender. Threatens to ‘out’ lesbian or gay
  • Destroys or damages victim’s property. Tells victim they are always in control
  • Demonstration of strength. Complete isolation
  • Controls major decisions. Child abuse/incest
  • Enforces economic dependence. Destroys/maims family pet
  • Controls money/finances. Deprives victim of food, medicine, sleep
  • Denies access to work/gets them fired. Convinces victim they are hysterical, paranoid
  • Threatens to hurt victim’s extended family
  • Threatens to report to immigration. Suicide

        

Information given here is credited to Metropolitan King County Council April 2002

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