Domestic Violence Prevention

As many as four million women in this country suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their husband or boyfriend each year. Very few will tell anyone - a friend, a relative, a neighbor or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages and all religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear and shame.

Are You Abused?
Does someone in your life:
  • “Track” all of your time?
  • Constantly accuse you of begin unfaithful?
  • Discourage your relationship with family and friends?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Criticize you for little things?
  • Anger easily when drinking or using other drugs?
  • Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you speed?
  • Humiliate you in front of others?
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or the children?
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
  • Threaten to hurt you or the children?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?
If you find yourself saying yes to any of these-it’s time to get help.

Don’t Ignore The Problem
  • Talk to someone. Part of the abuser’s power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor, or call a domestic violence hot-line to talk to a counselor.
  • Plan ahead and know what you will do if you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers together - marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks - in a place where you can get them quickly.
  • Learn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
If You Are Hurt, What Can You Do?
There are no easy answers, but there are things you can o to protect yourself.
  • Call the police or sheriff. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
  • Leave, or have someone come and stay with you. Go to a battered women’s shelter - call a crisis hot-line in your community or a health center to locate a shelter. If you believe that you, and your children, are in danger-leave immediately.
  • Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal attention.
  • Contact your family court for information about a civil protection order that does not involve criminal charges or penalties.
Have You Hurt Someone In Your Family?
  • Accept fact that your violent behavior will destroy your family. Be aware that you break the law when you physically hurt someone.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and get help.
  • When you feel tension buildings, get away. Work off the energy through a walk, a project, a sport.
  • Call a domestic violence hot-line or health center and ask about counseling and support groups for people who batter.
The High Costs of Domestic Violence
  • Men and women who follow their parents’ example and use violence to solve conflicts are teaching the same destructive behavior to their children.
  • Jobs can be lost or careers stalled because of injuries, arrests or harassment.
  • Violence may even results in death.
For More Information

Family Violence Prevention Fund
383 Rhode Island St
Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415-252-8900

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 18749
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303-839-1852

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Phone: 800-537-2238