I Don’t Feel Safe At Home/I Think I’m Being Abused
Recognizing that you are being abused is an important step. You may feel you need time to think about your situation. Or perhaps you have already made up your mind to leave. Whatever you decide, your safety is always the priority.
IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 911
If you are being abused it is important to remember:
- You are not alone.
- Domestic and sexual violence is against the law.
- It is not your fault. You are not responsible for the abuser’s behavior.
- There are things you can do to protect yourself.
- We are here to help you 24-hours a day 570-421-4200
General Safety Tips:
- Learn your partner’s warning signals so you can get out before the violence starts.
- Have a safety plan in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Talk with your children. They know that you’re hurting and probably fear for your safety. They may want to leave as much as you do.
- Call friends and relatives you can trust and talk about your concerns. You may discover that they are worried about you but don’t know how to ask you about the abuse.
Types of Domestic Violence
Abusive behavior rarely shows up at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, many abusers can be exceptionally charming when they choose to be.
Domestic violence can take several forms:
- Physical: This is the most overt form of battering and includes pushing, hitting, beating, inflicting injury with weapons, homicide, and suicide.
- Verbal/Emotional: This type of abuse includes non-physical behavior such as insults, threats, constant monitoring or checking in, humiliation, isolation, intimidation and stalking.
- Psychological: Characterized as "brainwashing", a person's self-worth is destroyed through harassment, threats, or deprivation of food and sleep.
- Sexual: When sexual abuse occurs between spouses/partners, it is rape. When sexual abuse is inflicted on children or teenagers by an older family member, it is incest.
- Destruction of Property or Pets: The destruction of property or pets may be another way that a person who batters is abusive. The destruction of the objects may also carry the message, "This time it's the car or the china; next time I could hurt you.”
- Reproductive Coercion: This type of abuse can include threats or acts of violence against a partner's reproductive health or reproductive decision-making and is a collection of behaviors intended to pressure or coerce a partner into becoming a parent or ending a pregnancy.
If your partner is an abuser, you may have noticed that s/he does some of these things:
- Humiliates, degrades, criticizes or insults you.
- Threatens to commit suicide to keep you from breaking up with him.
- Breaks things, especially your things, on purpose.
- Threatens to do things like take the children, or harm your pet, or get you fired.
- If you are in a same-gender relationship, the abuser may threaten to "out" you.
- Controls or interferes with where you go, what you do, and who you spend time with.
- Insults your friends and family.
- Makes you follow his/her rules (and sometimes changes the rules without warning).
- Accuses you of being unfaithful.
- Blames you for the way s/he treats you.
- Ignores you or makes fun of you when you're angry, hurt, or upset.