ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?
Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts or continually puts down the other person, it’s abuse.
Does your partner….
- Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?
- Put down your accomplishments or goals?
- Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
- Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
- Tell you that you are nothing without them?
- Treat you roughly – grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?
- Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
- Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
- Blame you for how they feel or act?
- Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?
- Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?
- Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?
- Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?
- Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
- Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?
- Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?
- Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
- Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
- Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
- Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?
If any of these are happening in your relationship, talk to someone. Without some help, the abuse will continue.
Operation Care offers Help for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims including Counseling, Support, Shelter
Escaping a violent or abusive situation is seldom if ever easy. Are you hopeful that your abuser will change? Signs that your abuser is NOT changing:
- He/She minimizes the abuse or denies how serious it really was.
- He/She continues to blame you or others for his behavior.
- He/She claims that you’re the one who is abusive.
- He/She tells you that you owe him another chance.
- He/She says that he/she can’t change unless you stay with him and support him/her.
- He/She tries to get sympathy from you, your children, or your family and friends.
- He/She expects something from you in exchange for getting help.
- He/She pressures you to make decisions about the relationship.
Has your abuser threatened you or your children if you think about leaving?
The abuse and violence in these situations typically escalates and staying puts you at greater risk than does leaving. There are a lot of resources available to you including 24 hour hotlines, emergency shelters, clothing, legal services, childcare and even job training.
You deserve a life free of fear, abuse and violence. People are here and ready to help!
Getting The Help You Need
In an Emergency or if you have been injured
For Advice, Counseling or Safe Place to Stay
Call the Operation Care Hotline 223-2600
If you decide to Stay
Prepare for Emergencies with an Escape Plan
If you decide to stay in your abusive home or with an abusive partner there are things you can do to help yourself protect yourself and your children.
Contact the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organization in your area, Operation Care in Amador County. They will provide emotional support, peer counseling, safe emergency housing, information, and other services while you are in the relationship, as well as if and when you decide to leave.
Share your situation with your family and friends to build a support system. Let other people know what you are going through. It’s important that you have people to call with a code word in an emergency.
Code Word. Come up with word that you share with your family, neighbors, children, co-workers that will alert them that you are in imminent danger and to call the police or 911.
Red Flags. (know this signs) Stay alert. Your abuser will exhibit the same red flag or signs when when getting upset and moving toward anger that will explode into abuse or violence. Try to leave the house or area if you can.
Safe areas. Identify safe areas in your house. Don’t run or retreat to bathrooms, closets or kitchens where there is no exit or household items that can be used as weapons. If possible head from a room with an outside door or window and preferably with telephone.
Emergency Kit. Have a spare car key, cash, credit card (if you have one), important/emergency phone numbers, clothing for your and your children at a neighbors house. If you need to escape in the day or night you can do so quickly.
Escape Plan. Practice your escape plan with your children so that in an emergency you don’t have to think about what to do.
Emergency Numbers. Memorize emergency phone numbers. In case you don’t have to time to retrieve your emergency kit make sure that you have memorized your emergency phone numbers: family, emergency hotline, local shelter, police, etc.
Your Domestic Violence Survival Kit
Protecting Yourself in a Dangerous Relationship
Print and Carry with you if you are still in the relationship:
- Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs; avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom) or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
- Think about and make a list of safe people to call.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Memorize all important numbers.
- Establish a code word or sign so that family, friends, teachers or coworkers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say to your partner if he or she becomes violent.
- Remember you have the right to live without fear and violence.
Your Personal Safety Plan
After you have left the relationship:
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
- Change locks if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
- Call a shelter for battered women.