WHAT YOU CAN DO…
Educate Yourself: Learn more about the root causes of violence, the warning signs and preventative strategies.
Spread the Word: We can all be part of the solution. Encourage your employer to sponsor a violence awareness workshop or arrange a community drive to support a local shelter. Sponsor an awareness workshop in your workplace.
Reach Out: Offer support without judgement or conditions to someone in need. Provide information on help that is available in your area.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS…
Be honest with your children. Help them to understand that abusing a loved one is wrong and that you (and they) are not responsible for the abuse. Your children need to know that violence has no place in dating or intimate relationship and that using violence to punish or control another is wrong! Encourage them to communicate their feelings (both the good and the bad) in a productive, healthy manner — one that reinforces mutual respect and non-violence.
CALL TO ACTION…
The impact of domestic violence permeates the boundaries of the home. Our workplaces, our schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods have felt and will continue to feel its effects if we fail, both personally and professionally, to contribute to its end!
RECOGNIZING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE…
If you are confused about the relationship — and are not sure if it is abusive, please, consider the following…
Has/is someone you know:
- Harming or threatening to harm a child, partner, spouse or family member?
- Repeatedly withholding money from a spouse or partner?
- Continually jealous, making irrational accusations against his/her partner/spouse?
- Restricting their partner/spouse from seeing family or friends?
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol?
- Forcing sex upon their partner/spouse?
- Constantly criticizing, humiliating, or degrading their partner/spouse and/or children.
- Using physical violence to control the actions of their partner/spouse and/or children.
The term domestic violence actually refers to a range of behaviors including child abuse, assault of the elderly and/or disabled, physical aggression between siblings, and violence between intimate or dating partners. Violence is used by one person in the relationship to abuse, control, or dominate the other through force, fear, and/or intimidation.
An abusive act, whether verbal, physical, emotional, or other, is seldom an isolated incident. the initial, more subtle forms of abuse (i.e., name calling, put down, irrational jealousy) effect a pattern of insidious perpetual conduct. Tragically, the dismissal of these “benign” behaviors will most certainly evolve into the more lethal forms of physical violence.
There is no excuse for violence! Nor should any form of violence be considered an acceptable form of discipline. Stress induced by work, family, or finances cannot explain it and using drugs or alcohol will never justify it. Violence is a behavioral choice — it is wrong and it is criminal.
The effects of violence on children are, at best, grossly underestimated. Without regard, many are living the consequences of domestic violence committed in their presence.
Witnessing violence can be as traumatic for children as being victims of it. However, the evasive impact masks injuries far beneath the skin’s surface. Sadly, the fact remains that violence perpetuates because children see, hear and understand more than we’ve given them credit for.
Such exposure and experience will teach children two very powerful life lessons:
- We use violence to resolve conflict and relieve stress.
- Violence and intimacy go hand in hand.
If you are concerned about what your child has seen or heard or if you feel that your child is engaging in certain at risk behaviors, please get informed and get help.
Suggestions of what to bring with you if you must flee:
- Identification (Drivers License, Social Security Cards, Insurance Cards, Welfare I.D.) for you and your children
- Credit cards (In your name)
- Birth certificates (for you and the children)
- Marriage Certificate or Divorce Papers
- Restraining orders
- Probate Court orders
- Money and ATM cards
- Calling cards
- Car registration and title
- Checkbooks and bankbooks with withdrawal slips
- House and car keys
- Medications (or keep a list with you including refill numbers and pharmacy)
- Address book
- Medical Records
- School records
- Green Card or Passports
- Work Permits
Important Phone Numbers
Emergency: Dial 9-1-1
East Bridgewater Police Department: (508) 378-7223
DOVE, Inc. – Domestic Violence Ended – Shelter, Services & Education 24 HR Hotline 1-888-314-DOVE (3683)
Statewide 24-Hour Hotline for Women’s Safety: 1-800-922-2600
Statewide Drug & Alcohol Information & Referral Hotline: (617) 445-1500 ~ 1-800-327-5050
Al-Anon Family Groups of Mass: (781) 843-5300
Department of Social Services 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-792-5200
Department of Social Services Teen Peer Line (Support): 1-800-238-7868
Disabled Persons Protection Commission: 1-800-426-9009
Department of Elder Affairs: 1-800-922-2275
Parent Stress 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-632-8188
South Shore Women’s Center – Plymouth – 24 hr hotline – 508-746-2664
Women’s Place – Brockton – 24 hr hotline – 508-588-2041
Brockton Family and Community Resources – 24 hr hotline – 508-583-6498
Battered Women’s Project – New Bedford – 24 hr hotline – 508-992-4222
Addiction, Families and Recovery – Plymouth – (Batterers Treatment Program) – 508-746-6737
For assistance or information about a Restraining Order, call the District Attorney’s Office Mon. – Fri. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM at 508-584-8120 or the East Bridgewater Police Dept at 508-368-7223
After business hours call the District Attorney’s Victim Witness 24 hour hotline 508-583-3306
Parental Stress Line – 1-800-632-8188
Safety During an Explosive Incident
- If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit, avoid the bathroom, kitchen, or any area with possible weapons.
- Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairwell would be best.
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly
- Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the Police.
- Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to )
- Use your instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he/she wants in order to calm the person down. You have the right to protect your self until you are out of danger.
- Always remember – YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE HIT OR THREATENED!
Safety When Preparing to Leave
- Open a savings account in your own name to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways you can increase your independence.
- Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents and extra clothing with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
- Determine who would be able to let you stay with them, or lend you money.
- Keep the shelter phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls.
- Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave the batterer. REMEMBER – LEAVING THE BATTERER IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME!
Safety in Your Own Home
- Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices for the windows.
- Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
- Inform you children’s school, day care, etc., about who is authorized to pick up your children.
- Inform neighbors and the landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.
Safety with a Protective Order
- Keep your protective order on you at all times. (when you change your purse, that should be the first thing that goes in it)
- Call the police if your partner breaks that protective order.
- Think of alternative ways to keep yourself and children safe if the police can’t respond right away.
- Inform your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that you have a protective order in effect.
Safety on the Job and in Public
- Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. (provide them with a picture if possible)
- Arrange to have some one screen your telephone calls if possible.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have some one escort you to your car, bus or train. Use a variety of routes to get home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home (i.e. while in your car, on the bus, etc.)
Your Safety and Emotional Health
- If you are thinking about returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with some one you trust.
- If you must communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
- Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
- Read books articles and poems that help you feel stronger.
- Decide who you can call to talk freely and openly to give you the support you need.
- Plan to attend a victims or women’s support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.
If you are a teen in a violent dating relationship
- Decide which friend, teacher, relative or police officer you can tell.
- Contact an advocate at the court to decide how to obtain a restraining order and make a safety plan.