If you are in danger now

June 18, 2017

If you are in danger right now, call 911 or your local emergency line. Here is a list of emergency phone numbers by country.

If you don't have a restraining order or you want to continue to talk with someone who is being violent, you can still call the police if you are in danger. Sometimes, being willing to stand up for yourself by calling the police is one of the first steps to freedom. You deserve to be safe. How can you start creating safety for yourself? 

If you are thinking about killing yourself

June 18, 2017

Sometimes, our brains try to kill us. If you are thinking about death as an option, what could it hurt to talk to someone about it? The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255. The Suicide Prevention App is available to help find resources near you. 

Finding a safe place

June 18, 2017

If you are ready to leave an unhealthy relationship, but you need somewhere to go, you can go to the Domestic Shelters search option to find a support system near you. You may be able to find a support system near you that has a place you can live with an undisclosed address. 

If you are in immediate danger, leave now and call the police.

If you are planning to leave and you are able to plan ahead, talk with a lawyer about any concerns you have (especially if children are involved). Before you leave, be prepared to take the following things (you may want to put a bag including these things together before you actually leave and have it available at a friend or neighbor's house):

  • Your driver's license.

  • Car keys.

  • Your and your children's important legal documents, including birth certificates, social security cards, passports, green cards, medical records, school records, insurance information, wills, state benefits information, and any court orders (for example, a restraining order or custody order for children if you have one).

  • Medicine you or your children take.

  • Information about all of your bank accounts and credit cards so that you are able to access them.

  • Contact information for friends and family.

  • A change of clothes.

  • Your checkbook.

  • Cash. 

  • Evidence of abuse, including photographs or broken property.

  • A few personal things you want to keep like jewelry, photos, and keepsakes. 

You may be able to have someone go back for the rest of your things, but remember, your body's safety is more important than your things. 

The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker

June 18, 2017

Gavin de Becker is a violence and safety expert who consults with celebrities about stalking and harassment issues. He also has worked with the Secret Service in the past. His book The Gift of Fear, is an incredible study of the usefulness of fear. His conclusion is that fear is an invaluable instinctive tool that can save our lives. But, if we live in fear all the time, we blunt our instincts and put ourselves in danger. It is our responsibility to create safety around ourselves and to listen to our bodies when they sense a threat. The #1 indicator of whether a woman is safe in a relationship or in danger is what her instinct tells her. There is no other reliable indicator. 

Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

June 18, 2017

Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? is an insightful resource on what motivates men to use abusive and controlling behavior. Bancroft and his team has worked for decades with men who are self-identified abusers or who have been convicted of partner violence. Their conclusion, based on research and reports from the men themselves, is that violent behavior comes not from mental illness, addition, an abusive childhood, or bad experiences with women. Abusive and violent behavior comes from a sense of entitlement that society gives men. We raise men to believe that they are entitled to treat women as their property, and we raise women to act like property. It's time for that to change. 

If you want a realistic look at where abusive and controlling behavior comes from, this book is fantastic. 

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