Domestic Violence - A Self Defense and Safety Plan
Do you know someone who has been victimized by domestic violence. Do you have a friend of loved who is a victim of domestic violence. The truth is that approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men annually are victims of some form of domestic violence in the U.S. Though it is very prevalent, domestic violence is wrong on every level, it is unacceptable and if you are a victim and reading this remember IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
You are not alone, your safety and well being are the most important thing. If you find yourself in a situation where you need immediate assistance call 911 or HAVEN 877.922.1274
Abusive relationships are so very dangerous and often lead to progressively worse injuries and even death. If you are in an abusive relationship you have several things to consider and think about. It is very easy and somewhat naive for me to say GET OUT NOW! In many cases, it is much more complicated. So let me say this, if you are in a relationship with an abuser they will not change. Do not think for a second that there behavior toward you will change for the better, because it won't, in fact in most cases it will get worse.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you feel as if you can't or won't be able to get out, then you need to have a safety plan.
If you are considering leaving an abuser you have more things to think through.
Gather all important and emergency telephone numbers and program them into your phone(s). Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. Children should be taught about the importance of 911, how to dial it and what to say.
Make sure someone knows about the abuse. Wether it is a neighbor, friend or family member. Think of these people as your personal "neighborhood watch" They should know to contact police if they hear yelling or angry noises.
Consider purchasing aself defense product that you can learn to use effectively to protect yourself from attack. You will be amazed at the improved self esteem and confidence that comes with knowing you can and will protect yourself if need be. Purchase a good pepper spray, take time to practice, and educate yourself on the effects and what to expect should you need to use the pepper spray in a certain situation.
Self defense classes are offered in many communities at the YMCA, police departments, and even local colleges. In most cases you will find emotional support from others in the classes and in many cases these self defense classes are very cheap or even free.
Think about ways to get into and out of your home or apartment safely. Now practice these routes over and over.
- Where would you go. Try to think of 4 safe havens you could get to, should you decide to leave for good.
- Identify the person(s) who could lend you money, clothing, and food. Communication with these people is essential as they are the ones you are closest to and trust the most.
- If you don't have your own credit card, bank account and cell phone you need to work toward getting them.
- How would you leave? How would you get out? Now practice, practice. If you are thinking of taking the dog for a walk and not coming back then you should work through the logistics until you are confident that you can get out and get to safety.
- If children are involved, then you have to protect yourself without putting your kids in harms way. Domestic violence with children involved is so very complicated and dangerous. When kids are involved, then the urgency to get out and to get everyone to a safe house is all that matters. Consider contacting Haven for assistance and training 877.922.1274
For more help and resources contact the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233