As many as four million women in this
country suffer some kind of domestic violence at the hands of their husbands
or boyfriends each year. Very few will tell anyone...a friend, a neighbor,
or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all
cultures, all income groups, all ages, and all religions. They share
feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.
Are You Abused?
Does the person you love...
"Track" all of your time?
Constantly accuse you of being
Discourage your relationships with
family and friends?
Prevent you from working or
Criticize you for little things?
Anger easily when using alcohol or
Control all finances and force you
to account in detail for what you spend?
Humiliate you in front of others?
Destroy personal property or
Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you
or your children?
Use or threaten to use a weapon
Threaten to hurt you or your
Force you to have sex against your
If you find yourself
saying yes to any of these -- it's time to get help!
Don't Ignore the Problem
Talk 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.
Plan ahead and know what to do if
you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go; set
aside some money. Put important papers together -- marriage license, birth
certificates, checkbooks -- in a place where you can get them quickly.
Learn to think independently. Try to
plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
If You Are Hurt, What Can
There are no easy answers, but there are things you
can do to protect yourself...
Call the Police. Assault, even if
by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about
shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
Leave! 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, or your children, are in danger -- leave immediately!
Get 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
Contact your family court for
information about a civil restraining order that does not involve criminal
charges or penalties.
This information is
provided by the Tiffin Police Department
and the National Crime Prevention Council.