What is Abuse?
Before an attack
- Practice how to get out of the house safely. Which doors, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes will you use?
- Decide where you will go if you have to leave home.
- Prepare an overnight bag. Keep it in a readily accessible place. In addition to clothes, include in it:
- Money, checkbook, credit cards, ATM card
- Driver’s license and registration, social security cards, birth certificates
- Public Aid cards, green card, passport, work permits
- Order of Protection, divorce papers
- Medications, medical and vaccination records
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Keys to house, car and work
- Insurance papers, bank book
- Address book
- Leave a set of keys and copies of important documents with a neighbor in case you need to leave quickly and your bag is not accessible.
- Tell a neighbor about the abuse and ask him/her to call the police if he/she hears any suspicious noises coming from your house.
- Develop a code word with your children and friends to signal them to call the police.
- Teach these strategies to your children.
During an attack
- Move to a room that is lowest risk with easy access to an exit. Stay away from enclosed spaces or spaces near any weapons, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
- Get away. Go to a friend’s or relative’s house.
- Call 911 or the police. They are required to provide or arrange transportation to a hospital or a safe place for you.
- Call for help. Scream loudly and continuously.
After an attack
- Get medical attention immediately. Tell the doctor or nurse what happened. Ask them to take pictures of your injuries.
- Make a police report, even if you don’t want your abuser arrested. It will be a record of the incident and will provide evidence if you ever need it. The abuser will not be notified that you made the report.
- Save evidence, including medical records, police reports, dated photos of your injuries or the house in disarray, torn clothing and any weapons used.