Sunday, April 11, 2010

Staying Safe, if...

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

If you go to a group meeting for abused women, you may be encouraged to make a "safety plan". This means you put all of your important numbers and documents in a place that is readily accessible. And if you have children this might include their birth certificates and shot records.

A lot of women, in abusive situations, find themselves in hotter water, than ever, when they make their plans to leave their abusers known. So, if at all possible do not tell your abuser that you are leaving. While some people may see this as cowardice; it is not. Wisdom says that in order to successfully leave an abuser your plans must be as secret as possible. Some of the most horrifying stories I ever heard we about women who did not make it out alive because they told their partners they were leaving. In healthy relationships you can leave whenever you want, but in abusive relationships your safety is not guaranteed.

Some women have families they can count on for support; people they can confide in to help their safety plans work. I did not have such a support group. I had to rely on virtual strangers to help me, and my kids, get to a healthier place in life. But still, we did not give up.

So I encourage you to stay strong; and stay in touch.


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