Surviving domestic violence takes courage and a great deal of resourcefulness. It starts by defending yourself, your family and your home against violent offenders. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no reason for you to feel trapped or embarrassed. Acknowledging the ugly truth of the situation is your first step in getting out and getting help. If you have realized that you’re in a dangerous situation, there are places that can help you to make important and critical decisions about your future.
If you recently have gotten out of a bad relationship with an abuser, home security should be your top priority. Home security systems can help lessen the risk and may make you feel a bit safer. It will at the very least, keep your abuser far enough away from you until police arrive. Considering changing all the locks on your exterior doors and all outside doors should be metal or wood. Try and pay the monthly fee for a professional home security service to monitor to your home, should something happen. It’s worth your life and the lives of your children.
Another thing you can do to lessen your fear somewhat is to buy a dog. Think of the dog and your home security system like layers on a cake. The more preventative layers you put up as a barrier, the better. Think about the situation seriously and make an active plan to protect yourself by documenting everything and filing a restraining order, if necessary. Mental preparation is just as important as physical. If you have a safety plan in place, you’ll be more likely to stay calm in an emergency. If you have moved and need to re-enter a home where an abuser still lives, DO NOT try and collect your personal belongings unless you have a police escort. You don’t want to find yourself in a precarious situation where you safety is at risk.
Do your homework and research places and facilities that offer protective housing for abuse victims. Most of these places are secretive in nature and help victims with food, shelter and the starting of a new life. Find a place to hide an emergency cell phone in case you need to call them. If you’re a friend of an abuse victim, offer transportation to a safe house or provide them with an attachable GPS device in case police need to be notified. Even offer to store items for them or a safe way to start moving things out of the house that are of great importance.
Finally, start saving small amounts of money away to sustain yourself and your family for the future. It takes awhile for most people to get back on their feet. Most abuse victims are sheltered and not able to work at a job to make money. Abusers want their victims to rely on them so that they have more control over them. Abuse victims can be survivors when plans are put into action and information is readily available in emergencies such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You can stop the cycle of abuse by helping yourself or a friend in need by doing the right thing and standing up to domestic violence.