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