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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Domestic Violence on the Rise

Violence in the family is serious business.  On the news all too often lately, one can spot another death from a domestic violence perpetration.  Unfortunately, a  death occurred very close to my home the other night.  The woman killed was trying to get herself a order for protection. Don't get me wrong, some orders of protection can work, but remember, it is just a piece of paper at the end of the day.  On the news tonight, channel nine discussed different ways a woman can protect herself.  Here are some of the ways I teach women in violent relationships to protect themselves.  Some women may not even be able to name the abuse and that is ok.  We need to support women where they are at and they may not want to leave the relationship.  The more educated we are, the more power we have and the safer we are.   We must realize that the more economic turmoil in the economy, the more family violence we see.  I train in the community on family violence and here are some tips you should look for if your feeling you may be in danger. 
  • Trust your instincts- Please listen to your gut.  Intuition is our birthright. (Your not Crazy)
  • Talk to someone about your feelings of angst- support is vital
  • Call a crisis line- If you dont know one look online for crisis centers
  • Find one or two neighbors to share what your going through and have a plan if you are in danger.  (ex:  Flick your outside light on and off in some sequence you have discussed. )
  • Have a safety plan- Pack a bag with clothes for you and your kids if you have them.  Make sure you have some money in the bag for emergency.  Don't forget shoes.  Many women tend to forget the shoes in their bags. 
  • Talk to a counselor that works with domestic violence.  They need to specialize in this or you may be revictimized. 
  • Call the shelter near you as they give out free cell phones that ONLY call 911. 
  • Tell every woman you know that if their perpetrator takes their phone away this is a felony and should be reported. 
  • You are not alone.  A women is killed in this country every 10 seconds. 
  • Come up with a plan if your perpetrator is escalating and you are choosing to stay in the relationship.  You may want to go take a walk when you intuit that your partner is ready to explode. Do what is best for you. 
  • Write a journal of your feelings and have a trusted friend keep it. 
Pay attention to the red flags- Control and Power.  This is what keeps the cycle of violence going
  • Pay attention if your partner is telling you how to speak, what to say to others, how to dress, who to talk to, isolating you, acting jealous when you know you are not straying, verbally abusing you in private, and may be doing this in front of others.   Saying you will never find someone else if you leave, threatening or intimidating you. 
It only takes up to three months of dating to see these red flags.  Try not to minimize, deny or rationalize your partners violent behavior.  If you are uncomfortable and feel confused by this behavior, GO GET HELP.

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