Victims - What to Do Now
Once a violent act takes place in a relationship, the violence almost always reoccurs. In fact, it often becomes more severe and more frequent. This happens even when the batterer apologizes and promises to change after a violent incident. Also, a batterer will almost always try to isolate you by causing disagreements between you and those who care about you. It is extremely important that you think ahead about what to do in case of another attack. The following tips can help keep you safe!
Complete Your Checklist and Personalized Safety Plan
Practice and Prepare
- Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best.
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it at a relative's or friend's home in order to leave quickly. Include money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines, and clothes.
- Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Devise a codeword to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors with you need the police.
- Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don't think you will ever need to).
- Open a savings account and or a credit card in your own name to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence. also get your own post office bos. You can privately receive checks and letters to begin your independence.
- Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money. Emergency shelter is available.
- Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times.
- Memorize as many important numbers as you can.
Safety During an Attack
- Get to a safe place.
- If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area where you have access to an exit. Try to stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else where weapons might be available.
- If you need to confront your abuse, do so in a public place.
- Use your own instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuse what he or she wants to calm him or her down. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
- Always remember - you don't deserve to be hit or threatened!
Safety After an Attack
- CALL THE POLICE. DIAL 911
- Explain the incident. Tell the police where you are. answer the dispatcher's questions as clearly as possible. Let the police know whether weapons or drugs were involved. Let them know whether you have protective order against your abuse.
- When the police take a statement, make sure to tell them the names and addresses of any witnesses. The police can give you and your children a ride to the hospital or a safe place. You can ask the police to wait a reasonable amount of time while you pack some essentials.
- The police can give you a temporary emergency protective order, making it a crime for that person to return.
- Write down the officer's name and badge number. This can be important later if you have questions about what happened.
- If the abuser is taken to jail, she or he may be released quickly. the abuser will be given an opportunity to post bond and get out of jail., sometimes within a few hours. Be prepared. You can check with the jail to see if the abuse will be released.
Seek Medical Attention
- Always seek medical attention; you may be injured more seriously than you think. go to your private doctor, a clinic, emergency room or the Albuquerque Family Advocacy Center.
- Tell the doctor our nurse what happened. Ask them to take pictures of your injuries.
- Find out how to get copies of your records. Tell them you will sign a waiver so that the prosecutor or your attorney can get copies of those medical records when necessary.
- Te law prohibits discrimination by your insurance company. It cannot deny your claim or drop your policy because of domestic violence.
Document Your Injuries and Preserve Evidence
- If you feel comfortable and safe, keep a journal or diary that describes each time you suffer abuse.
- If you did not have photographs taken while you were receiving medical care, ask a friend, someone from a domestic violence shelter, or the police to take color photographs of your injuries as soon as possible.
- Preserve all additional evidence, including torn or bloody clothing, weapons, photographs of the destruction of property and the disarray in the house, statements from anyone who heard or saw the attack.
Call the Albuquerque Family Advocacy Center at (505) 243-2333
Safety After Leaving the Attacker
- Remember, leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.
- Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
- Change your phone number and screen calls.
- Relocate and consider establishing a new identity.
- Vary your routine.
- Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
- Inform your children's school, daycare or baby sitter about who has permission to pick up your children.
- Inform neighbors and your landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call police if they see him or her near your home.
Safety With a Protective Order
- Keep your protective order on you at all times (e.g. when you change your purse, that should be the first thing that goes in it). Give a copy to a trusted neighbor or family friend.
- Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
- Think of alternate ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
- Inform family, friends, neighbors, and your physician or health care provider that you have a protective order in effect.
Safety on the Job and in Public
- Decide whom at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a picture of your batterer if possible.
- Arrange to have an answering machine, caller ID, or a trusted friend screen your calls.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. have someone escort you to your car, bus, or train and wait with you until you are safely on your way. Use a variety of routes to go home, if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home.