Domestic violence is purposeful behavior that becomes increasingly harmful over time.  An abuser devises tactics to control his partner and adapts them as often as needed to achieve compliance.

Fortunately, women are adaptive, too.  As strong, resilient individuals, they find ways to reduce their risk of harm and protect their children:

  • Avoid bathrooms, garages, kitchens, areas near weapons, and rooms without an outside exit during violent episodes
  • If staying in the relationship, request that someone call the police if he or she hears noises coming from the home
  • Ask landlord to change the locks if no longer living together
  • When leaving an abusive relationship, take money, clothes, extra keys, and as many important documents as possible:
  1. Identification
  2. Adult and children’s birth certificates
  3. Adult and children’s Social Security cards
  4. School and vaccination records
  5. Money, checkbook, ATM cards
  6. Credit cards
  7. Medication
  8. House keys, car keys, office keys
  9. Driver’s license and car registration
  10. Insurance papers
  11. Medicare/Medicaid cards
  12. Passports
  13. Divorce papers
  14. Lease, rental agreement or house deed
  15. Car payment or mortgage payment book
  16. Children’s toys, security blanket and stuffed animals
  17. Sentimental items and photographs
  • Teach children to dial 9-1-1
  • Ask for calls and visitors to be screened at work
  • Do not travel alone; locate a safe place when in public
  • Call police if partner violates Order of Protection
  • Avoid using a computer to which partner has access
  • Call a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE:  1.877.507.7233 (Harbor House)