Saturday, May 9, 2009

Domestic Violence Does Not Take A Holiday!

Sadly, Domestic Violence continues to be served on a burnt platter in homes across the Country. And yet we still do not understand as a civilized society, domestic violence is a crime.

Today is National Domestic Violence Awareness Day. To me that sounds rather odd. Highlighting a specific day of awareness for crime's affecting millions of women and children across the country? When in fact, domestic violence, stalking and murder never takes a holiday. It happens 365 days a year. I would like to see days, weeks and months involving a national awareness action program.

How about we have a day of free self defense awareness? Teaching victims how to protect themselves.

And for the following year a day in every city across the County providing free lethality assessment? Creating a wellness environment where a person in a violent relationship goes in for a free-check up and leaves with a safety plan designed especially for them. After all Walgreens does health screenings, and domestic violence is a serious health issue.

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need to get out but do not have a clue as to how to begin, please carefully read through the suggestions below. Or if you are a friend, relative and even a co-worker please print the information off and make sure that person knows that you care and they have your support whatever they decide to do.

First, you have to understand that no one deserves to be abused. My guess if you are a victim that for years you have had to adust your behavior, on a daily basis in order ro reduce the violence. If you talk back, disagree with the person you already understand the heavy price paid when "you do not follow orders or do what you are told".

Through the years you have denied or minimized the abuse. And now you may feel helpless, your in too deep and you may believe there is no way out. But you are wrong. You can get help and get out safely with a plan. Before you begin it is very important that you be the very best actress you can. During each step, you must be ten steps ahead of the person abusing you. It is dangerous when you in a violent relationship and are preparing to leave to discuss any plans of ending the relationship with that individual. You must not provoke any conflict or agument that may be going on once you have begun the process of leaving. If you do, you take the chance of being harmed with bodily injury. You never confront the person abusing you announcing your relationship over. You may want to confront the person because at that moment you feel strong and empowered to inform the abuser and let them know your ending the relationship, but the consequences to your actions or reactions will play a key role in your safety, as we have all seen happen when a mother, woman or child is murdered by the husband or ex-lover because the victim announced their plans for departure. Only to end up silenced, carried out in a body bag because the victim believed the abuser would never kill her.

You have indured so much. You may be tired, feeling as though you just don't have the strength or the resoucres to leave, but you do. If you have lived day in and day out with a controlling manipulative individual, leaving will be difficult for you at the begining. You have been brainwashed to feel as though you are worthless, no good to anyone. Well revese that thought, you are with that person so you can't be "worthless", now can you? Domestic violence has destroyed your confidence to grow as a human being, to try new things, to develop talents. It is a toxin that has effected every aspect of your life.

Creating a Safety Plan:

LEAVING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
It’s important to allow yourself enough time when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, especially if you’re married and have children, but it can be done. It’s also a good idea once you begin, not to make calls from your home, go to a pay phone, friends, relatives, or call and make arrangements from your place of employment. Remember NOT to use your home computer.
Begin by drafting a “plan of action” for yourself. Start to gather copies of important papers like:
· Birth certificates (of you and the children) Make sure you have certified copies.
· Social Security cards
· Marriage certificate
· Insurance policies
· Make a record of all bank account numbers (including any in your children’s names).
Is there a 401K plan at work, IRA, or an account at a credit union, if so, make copies.
· Make copies of your income tax returns for the past three years.
· Make copies of all titles or property information including major appliance manuals & warranties.

· Try and get a couple of your spouse’s pay stubs, make copies.
· Are there any stocks, savings bonds, etc., make copies.
· Contact your doctor and dentist and get copies of all medical records which you can either pick-up in person, or have them mailed to a trusted relative or friend for safe keeping.

· Children’s school records.
· Passports for you and the children.
· Prescriptions for any medications you and the children take (if possible, stock up).
· Spare keys to the house, garage, car, safety deposit box, etc.
·
If you wear prescription glasses or a hearing aid device, get an extra set made and keep them with your important documents.
·
Title to the car.
· Contact the credit bureau and request a copy of your credit report, and remember to send a letter. If you need an example to send please email me at kindlivingpress@aol.com and I'll email you one that you can use.

· Always place passwords on utilities, bills, so that only you, have access into these accounts so they can't be disconnected or changed.

· Try and save money and open a bank account in your name.
· Just before your ready to leave, go to your bank, and withdraw what you can (this should be done on the day you’re preparing to leave, because as money is withdrawn, it will be reflected on the account balance either on that day or the following day. And you don’t want to take chances, especially if an emergency arises and your partner must suddenly use their ATM card or withdraw monies and discover the account balance has changed.

· Use whatever cash advance you have available to open up an individual interest bearing account.
· If possible, take your home computer with you on the day you leave.

· If you are unable to take the computer, remove all data, addresses, take the disks. If you are unsure how to do this please ask someone who you know and trust to assist you.

· If you run a computer home-based business, change all your passwords, change your screen name, and change your internet service provider and don’t insert personal information into any online directories.

· Secure a private post office box. Either have someone you trust do this in their name on your behalf (someone that your partner wouldn’t suspect or know) or, go to a private company like “Mailboxes, etc.”, rather than a post office. And whenever possible use suite or apartment numbers instead of using the words post office box.

· Make changes for your bills, bank accounts, etc., by using the forms provided, try not to fill out a change of address with your postal service.

· Get an unpublished/unlisted telephone number.
· When preparing to move, ask someone you trust to rent a place in their name on your behalf.
· When hiring a moving company, use a small company. Or if you need to use a large
company, have them move your items to a storage unit that has been secured in another person’s name, then contact a small local moving company to move them for you.

· Check off items as you complete them.

If you have received an order of protection from the courts and you’re preparing to move, contact your local police department, explain that you have a court order and you’re requesting they send an officer to your home while you are moving. If you don’t have one, then maybe now is a good time to get one. If you are still unsure than please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE and they will direct you to someone in your area to assist you with how to obtain a court order of protection.

Internet Safety Link: http://www.edvp.org/AboutDV/trace-warning.htm


HOW DOES A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER OFFER PROTECTION?
An order of protection is a court order that provides protection for victims of domestic abuse. A person can obtain an order of protection on an emergency basis when there is a likelihood of harm or injury by the abuser. Typically, an emergency order of protection is obtained after a recent incident has occurred and a police report has been made. The incident allows a victim to petition the courts with the assistance of a state’s attorney or county prosecutor, who works on your behalf without charge, for an emergency order of protection or temporary restraining order (it varies in each state). Then, the judge hears your case, without the presence of the abuser. The judge makes a decision regarding the facts of your case, at which time the judge may grant a temporary emergency order of protection for a maximum of 21 days. Then, the abuser is served by a sheriff or police officer a copy of the order prohibiting contact with the victim for a 21-day period and a court date is set for the abuser to appear before the judge. Both parties return on the scheduled date. You are represented by the state and the abuser either by a private attorney or a public defender. Then the judge, based on the information, decides to set a hearing date. Your order of protection will usually be continued until the outcome of the case. Once you have the order:
· Continue to report all incidents that occur to the police and document them.
· If there is further abuse, contact the county prosecutors office or state’s attorney and update them.

· If you received medical treatment for any injuries sustained, make sure you get a copy of your medical treatment report and take pictures.

· Do not initiate any further contact with the person.
· Always keep a copy of your order with you at all times, make extra copies for your car, employer, etc.

For support, shelter, or additional information on what is available to you I suggest you contact:
· Your local State’s Attorney or Prosecutor’s office
· The Attorney General’s office
· Your local battered women’s shelter and/or counseling center
· The local Bar Association.
Telephone numbers for the above are listed in your local phone book. And you can go to your local library for information on the laws and resources available in your state.

WHO IS PROTECTED UNDER THE ORDER OF PROTECTION?
· Spouse
· Former spouse
· Parent
· Children
· Stepchild
· Dating or engagement relationship
· Person related by blood or marriage
· Sharing or formally sharing a common dwelling
· Persons who have a child in common
· Sharing a blood relationship through a child

WHAT IS A CIVIL ORDER OF PROTECTION?
The procedure for a civil order of protection varies from state to state. Any local or state women’s organizations, lawyer, or state’s attorney will be happy to explain the procedures in your area. When you petition for a civil order of protection, usually no criminal charges have been filed against the alleged abuser. Many seek this type of order when they file for divorce. It is still important to obtain pictures for evidence and witnesses for your case. The order is effective for the same length of time as a criminal order of protection and it is issued by a judge.

Please go to this link that will direct you with every resource you need to begin: https://feminist.org/911/crisis.html .
And the number for the National Domestic violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE
Hearing Impaired : TDD- 1-800-787-3224

1 comment:

Sara Huizenga Lubbers said...

Wow

and

Thank You

Thank You so much

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