Addressing the Problem
Don't Ignore the Issue
- It is important to talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems or have been threatened not to discuss these problems.
- Plan ahead and know what you will do if attacked again. If you leave decide on a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers together - marriage licenses, birth certificates, check books. Put them in a place you can get to quickly. Learn to think independently and try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
What to Do if You Are Hurt
There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself such as the following actions:
- Call the police. They have access to local sources of shelter or counseling if needed. In addition they are the only ones who can bring domestic violence charges to stop the cycle of violence. When domestic violence charges are made, there are protection orders issued to prevent further abuse.
- Leave or have someone come stay with you. If you believe that you or your children are in danger or that the violence will escalate, leave immediately.
- Get medical attention from your doctor or hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries.
If You've Hurt Someone in Your Family or Household
- Accept the fact that your violent behavior will destroy your family. Be aware that you break the law when you physically hurt someone.
- Take responsibility for your actions and get help.
- Call the Upper Valley Mental Health Center or emergency help line and ask about counseling and support groups that may be able to help you.
The High Cost of Domestic Violence
- Men and women who follow their parent's example and use violence to solve conflicts are teaching the same destructive behavior to their children. The behavior just widens the circle of abuse.
- Jobs can be lost or careers derailed because of injuries, arrests, or harassment.
- Violence typically escalates if no intervention takes place. Deaths do result from domestic violence situations.
- The cycle of domestic violence can be broken with intervention and honest effort.