Although it may not seem like it, there are many options and resources for a victim of a violent relationship and those who are trying to help them. The following are just a few of these options:
If you are a victim of domestic violence....
- Tell someone you trust. It is not easy to admit that you are being abused. However, acting on your decisions is easier when you have support.
- Safety Planning. Essentially, this means being aware of your surroundings and planning where to go and what to do in the case of a violent incident.
- File for a Protective Order. While this is not a coat of armor, disobeying any part of this order can cause your perpetrator to spend time in jail.
- Seek counseling. This can help you raise your self-esteem, make decisions about your life and understand that you are not to blame for what happened.
- Seek shelter. If you are in fear for your physical safety, go to a friend's, a relative's, a neighbor's or to a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
If someone you know is a victim of domestic violence....
- Know available resources. Be aware of what services are available at the agencies in that person's area. Keep their phone numbers readily accessible.
- Tell them you care. Let them know that you are concerned for their safety and the safety of their children. Make sure they know that you are available to them when they are ready.
- Don't judge or criticize. Victims must move at their own pace when making a decision to leave.