Take the First Step
Tell someone -- a family member, a friend, a co-worker, the police, an abuse hotline worker, etc. -- about the abuse.
Call the Police
Call 911 when the first incident of domestic violence occurs. Physical abuse and sexual abuse are crimes, even if the victim lives with the abuser.
Plan a Way Out
Plan a safe haven to go to in the event a domestic situation gets out of control. Keep a bag packed with clothes, toys, and other essentials, including an extra set of keys, in the car or at a friend’s or neighbor’s house. Keep identification, prescriptions, credit cards, and bank account information in a safe and convenient location.
There are services available to help victims make life changes and obtain peace and safety. There are shelters and support groups. There are protective orders to prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim. There even may be financial assistance.
There are also options available for victims who do not want to leave their abusers. Safety plans and counseling services are available for anyone wanting the chance to work on a relationship.
A victim advocate’s job is not to break up relationships; it is to support victims by providing education, information, resources, and encouragement, and to help them identify their options.
Victims do not have to live in fear!