What can I do about Domestic Violence?
One out of every four women in this country will suffer some kind of violence at the hands of her husband or boyfriend. Very few well tell anyone-not 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, 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 your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending group meetings or school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking alcohol or taking drugs?
- Control all the finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or your children?
- Use, or threaten to use, a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you or the children?
- Force you to engage in sex against your will?
If you answer "yes" to even a few of these questions, it's time to get help!
If you are a victim of domestic violence, what can you do?
Call the police or sheriff. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
Leave, or have someone come stay with you. Go to a battered---woman's shelter---you can call a crisis hotline in your community, or health center, to locate a shelter. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, leave immediately.
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.
Call the South Utah County Victim Services: 465-5224
Don't ignore the problem!
Contact your family court for information about a civil protection order that doesn't involve criminal charges or penalties.
Talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from the secrecy. Victims are often 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 attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go, and set aside some money. Put important papers together-marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks, savings account books, social security cards, insurance information-in a place where you can get to them quickly.
Learn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.