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Domestic Violence


As many as four million women in this country suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends each year.

Very few will tell anyone - 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...
bulletKeep track of all of your time?
bulletConstantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
bulletDiscourage your relationships with family and friends?
bulletPrevent you from working or attending school?
bulletCriticize you for little things?
bulletAnger easily when drinking or using other drugs?
bulletControl all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
bulletHumiliate you in front of others?
bulletDestroy personal property or sentimental items?
bulletHit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
bulletUse or threaten to use a weapon against you?
bulletThreaten to hurt you or the children?
bulletForce you to have sex against your will?

If you find yourself saying yes to any of these - it's time to get help.

Don't Ignore the Problem
bulletTalk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from 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.
bulletPlan ahead and know what you will do if you're attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers - marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks - in a place where you can get them quickly.
bulletLearn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.

If You Are Hurt, What Can You Do?

There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
bulletCall 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.
bulletLeave, or have someone come and stay with you. Go to a battered women's shelter - call a crisis hotline in your community or a health center to locate a shelter. If you believe that you, and your children, are in danger - leave immediately.
bulletGet 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.
bulletContact your family court for information about a civil protection order that does not involve criminal charges or penalties.

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Have You Hurt Someone in Your Family?
bulletAccept the fact that your violent behavior will destroy your family. Be aware that you break the law when you physically hurt someone.
bulletTake responsibility for your actions and get help.
bulletWhen you feel tension building, get away. Work off the angry energy through a walk, a project, a sport.
bulletCall a domestic violence hotline or health center and ask about counseling and support groups for people who batter.

The High Costs of Domestic Violence
bulletMen and women who follow their parents' example and use violence to solve conflicts are teaching the same destructive behavior to their children.
bulletJobs can be lost or careers stalled because of injuries, arrests, or harassment.
bulletViolence may even result in death.

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For More Information:

Women's Help Center
809 Napoleon Street
Johnstown, Pa. 15901
     814-536-5361
     814-443-2824
     TOLL FREE 1-800-999-7406

 

Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE
This new, nationwide toll-free hotline will provide immediate crisis intervention, counseling and referrals to emergency shelters and services.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
800-537-2238
Family Violence Prevention Fund
383 Rhode Island Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
415-252-8900

Source: 
source: National Crime Prevention Council