Domestic Violence is a pattern of control and abusive behavior with the intention to gain compliance over an intimate partner or others residing in the same home. Abuse affects ALL people; it knows no boundaries.
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
- Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
- Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
- Tries to keep you away from family or friends.
- Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
- Does not want you to work.
- Controls finances or refuses to share money.
- Punishes you by withholding affection.
- Expects you to ask permission.
- Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets. Humiliates you in any way.
You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:
- Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
- Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
- Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
- Scared you by driving recklessly.
- Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
- Forced you to leave your home.
- Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
- Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
- Hurt your children.
- Used physical force in sexual situations.
You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
- Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
- Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
- Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
- Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
- Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
- Held you down during sex.
- Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
- Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
- Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
- Ignored your feelings regarding sex.
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship .
Follow this plan to maintain your personal safety and the safety of your family.
Know where you can get help
Keep a list of important phone numbers (police, domestic vio- lence hotline, hospital) with you. Visit our resources and links page for more information on local help.
Plan with your children. Identify a safe place for them (room with a lock, neighbor’s house). Let them know that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
Arrange a signal with a neighbor for when you need help.
Prepare an emergency kit
Make sure it is something that you can get to quickly. You may want to keep it at a trusted friend’s/neighbor’s house.
Make sure to include the following items:
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Money, food stamps, checkbook, credit cards, pay stubs birth certificates and other ID for you and your children
- Driver’s license or other photo identification
- Social Security card or green card/work permit
- Health insurance cards, medication for you and your children deed or lease to your house or apartment
- Any court papers or orders
- Change of clothes for you and your children
Plan the safest time to get away
Know which doors, windows, etc. provide escape. Practice with your children for an emergency.
Get medical help
If necessary, seek medical attention right away. Make sure to explain what happened and ask them to document it.Have the doctor, nurse or a friend take pictures of your injuries/bruises. Save any ripped or bloody clothes.
Talk to someone about what you can do next.
Call a 24-hour domestic violence program hot- line
Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center
24 hour HOTLINE: 1-888-299-HOPE (1-888-299-4673)
Prevention Education Department: 724-224-1100
Read more about the DV in our pamphlet on the Cycle of Violence.