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Are You Being Abused?

Does the person you love...

  • Threaten to hurt or kill you or your children?
  • Put you down in public or keep you from contacting family/friends?
  • Control where you go, who you talk to, and how you spend money?
  • Throw, push, hit, choke, kick, or slap you?
  • Say it's your fault, promise it won't happen again - but then it does?

If any of this is happening to you, you are being abused.

Plan for Your Safety

Be prepared...

  • Know where you can get help. Keep a list of important phone numbers (police, domestic violence hotline, hospital) with you.
  • Plan with your children. Identify a safe place for children (room with a lock, neighbor's house). Let them know that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
  • Arrange a signal with a neighbor for when you need help.
  • Prepare an emergency kit that you can get to quickly. (You may want to keep it at a trusted friend's/neighbor's house.)
  • Include:
    • extra set of car and house keys
    • money, food stamps, checkbook, credit card(s), pay stubs
    • birth certificates and other ID for you and your children
    • your driver's license or other photo identification
    • Social Security card or green card/work permit
    • health insurance cards, medications for you and your children
    • deed or lease to your house or apartment
    • any court papers or orders
    • change of clothes for you and your children
  • Plan the safest time to get away. Know which doors, windows, etc. provide escape. Practice with your children for an emergency.
  • Get medical help and tell what happened. Ask them to document it.
  • Have the doctor, nurse, or a friend take pictures of your injuries/bruises. Save any ripped or bloody clothes.
  • Talk to someone about what you can do next. Call a 24-hour domestic violence program hotline.

Help Is Available

You can get FREE and CONFIDENTIAL help and information from a domestic violence program in your area.

Services Include:

  • 24-hour hotlines
  • shelters/safe homes
  • children's counseling/programs
  • individual and group counseling
  • court and emergency room assistance
  • help with welfare application

Domestic violence programs can help you develop a safety plan.

All contact with domestic violence programs is CONFIDENTIAL.

Other Helpful Links

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Article courtesy of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).