If you're the victim of domestic abuse, you may be afraid to seek help. Whether you feel that your partner will find you, or you don't know where to turn, you need to know that help is available. Here are four steps you should take to remove yourself from the situation and get the help you desperately need.
Memorize Phone Numbers
It can be difficult to find phone numbers in the heat of the moment. Even if you want to call for help, you may not be able to. Take the time to memorize a few important numbers. These are numbers that you'll use when you're finally ready to leave. Some of the numbers you should memorize include
- Local domestic abuse shelter
- Personal physician
- Legal aid department
Pack a Go Bag
When the situation turns volatile and you have to run, you're not going to have time to grab personal belongings. Instead, pack a bag in advance and leave it somewhere safe, such as a friend's house. If your partner keeps track of your belongings – and will notice when items are missing – purchase a few things in advance and place them in storage. Once you leave, you'll be able to retrieve your bag and have the supplies you'll need for a few days. If you have children, be sure to pack a bag for them too.
Set Up a Safe Haven
It can be frightening to leave, especially if you don't know where to go, or you're afraid your partner will find you. Try to set up a safe haven in advance. If you have a friend that you can trust, have them help you arrange a safe haven with someone they know. This will help ensure that you have a place to go that your partner is unaware of.
Designate a Signal
If they're aware of the situation, neighbors can be your first line of defense. Designate a signal that will notify a neighbor of your danger. For instance, if your neighbor suddenly notices that your porch light is on in the middle of the day, they'll know to call 911.
Seek Legal Assistance
Above all else, seek legal advice. Your domestic violence attorney will be able to help you obtain the services you'll need to protect yourself, such as orders of protection. They can also put you in contact with domestic abuse shelters and other services you might need, such as medical care.
If you're the victim of domestic abuse, you need to get help as soon as possible. The list provided above will give you the information you need when you realize it's time to go.