As many as four million
women in this country suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their
husbands or boyfriends each year. Very few will tell anyone - a
friend, a relative, a neighbor or the police.
Victims of domestic
violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups,
all ages, and all religions. They share feelings of helplessness,
isolation, guilt, fear and shame.
ARE YOU ABUSED?
Does the person you love...
"Track" all of your time?
Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
Discourage our relationship with family
Prevent you from working or attending
Criticize you for little things?
Anger easily when drinking or using other
Control all finances and force you to
account in detail for what you spend?
Humiliate you in front of others?
Destroy personal property or sentimental
Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the
Force you to have sex against your will?
If you find yourself
saying yes to any of these - it's time to get help.
DON'T IGNORE THE PROBLEM
Talk to someone. Part of the
abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are ashamed to let anyone
know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor,
or call a domestic violence hotline to talk to a counselor.
Plan ahead and know what you will do if
you are attached again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to
go; set aside some money. Put important papers together - marriage
license, birth certificates, checkbooks - in a place where you can get
Learn to think independently. Try to
plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
YOU ARE HURT, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are no easy answers,
but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Call the police or
sheriff. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The
police often have information about other agencies that help victims of
Leave, or have someone
come and stay with you. Go to a battered women's shelter - call a
crisis hotline in your community or a health center to locate a shelter.
If you believe that you, and your children, are in danger - leave
Get medical attention from
your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to
photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide
to take legal action.
Contact your family court
for information about a civil protection order that does not involve
criminal charges or penalties.
HAVE YOU HURT SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY?
Accept the fact that your
violent behavior will destroy your family. Be aware that you break
the law when you physically hurt someone.
Take responsibility for
your actions and get some help.
When you feel tension
building, get away from the situation. Work off the negative energy with a walk, a
project, a sport.
Call a domestic violence
hotline and ask about counseling and support groups for people who
THE HIGH COST OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Men and women who
follow their parents' example and use violence to solve conflict are
teaching the same destructive behavior to their children.
Jobs can be lost or
careers stalled because of injuries, arrest, or harassment.
Violence may even
result in death.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE
This nationwide, toll-free hotline provides immediate crisis
intervention, counseling, and referrals to emergency shelters and
Resource Center on Domestic Violence
If you have any questions, please contact
Deputy John Peck (818) 878-5505.