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Planning For Your Safety, PRIOR to a Violent Incident

Open Discussions About Domestic Abuse.

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Planning For Your Safety, PRIOR to a Violent Incident

Postby Butterfly Faerie » Wed May 17, 2006 3:55 pm

If you are involved with someone who has been violent in the past, you are the most safe if you assume they may be violent again. Taking some basic steps can increase the chances of safety for you, your children, and anyone else around you.

Taking these steps does NOT mean you are overreacting. You may feel "silly" planning for your safety if you are not in the middle of a current violent situation. It is NOT silly, it is wise. If you have children, it is simply being responsible.

Do not let yourself talk yourself out of paying attention to the past and to your gut. If you have been around violence or abuse, one of the things you have unfortunately learned is to put yourself down and to discount your feelings. You probably have also learned to be passive and to wait until danger is 'in your face' before you take action. These steps will help you move out of that reactive, passive stance into a safer, and more mature, healthy proactive orientation.

- Pay attention to the person's patterns of violence. Watch for signs of escalation and do not ignore them, hoping they will go away. They rarely do.

- Tell someone, anyone you trust even if you do not know them well, that you are in a potentially dangerous situation and may need their help in the future. Ask if you could drive to their place at any time of the day or night. Make sure you have their phone number. Try to memorize it, but also keep it written down and on your person at all times. Drive to their place both in the daylight and at night so you know the way ahead of time.

- If you sense or observe escalation of danger, try to get rid of all weapons in your home if this is safe to do.

- Teach your eldest child or someone living with you to phone 911 and give your address. Do your best to determine whether this is safe for your child to do if a violent incident is occurring. If you think it would put your child in danger, teach them to go to a safe neighbor or other place.

- Know the phone # for your local Safe House or Shelter. If you are in a violent situation, but not yet ready to use their services, call them anyway and ask about what they have to offer. You will feel more comfortable in the future calling again and will be more likely to wisely use what they can offer you.

- Consider alerting your employer. Ask to have a meeting to discuss how you want them to handle it should the violent person come to your workplace. Have a real meeting, not just a passing comment. Ask for a specific time to talk. Both of you should be seated, don't simply stand at someone's desk and talk. You will not be taken as seriously.

- Have items you would want during an escape from violence ready ahead of time. Always keep some money hidden, including coins for a pay phone. Have an extra set of car keys hidden. Have an extra set of house keys made. Have a lightweight bag of simple clothes for you and your children ready, including something warm if it is winter. Keep a list of important numbers, such as social security, bank accounts, insurance policies, driver's licenses, title to property, and so on. If you work outside the home, keep this list at your workplace. Keep copies of important documents there as well.
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Re: Planning For Your Safety, PRIOR to a Violent Incident

Postby hellodollyllama » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:22 pm

http://sisterx2.blogspot.com/2011/11/su ... ident.html

f everything goes out of control, try to defuse the situation. Figure out what triggers the violence; plan for what you will do if he becomes violent, or if he finds out about part of your escape plan. In a pinch, give him what he wants, tell him what he wants to hear, but don’t believe any promises.

Try to decrease the odds on getting hurt. Get weapons out of the house (hide them or lock them up); don’t wear necklaces which he can use to choke you; avoid the kitchen or garage, and avoid places with no easy escape (bathroom). Figure out which windows you can escape from, and which doors you can lock behind you. Don’t go near the kids if things get out of control. Lock yourself in a room with a phone if possible; call 911 and get the dispatcher's name. Take a self-defense course. As a last resort, curl up in a corner with your arms on either side of your head, fingers intertwined.

Make it easier to get out. Plan and practice an escape route with the kids: windows, elevator, stairs, fire escapes. Pick two destinations -- public places, shelter, hospitals, stores, restaurants, friend’s homes, anything that is open 24/7, or has a pay phone. Keep your purse and keys handy; have extra keys in a magnetic box under your car bumper, and make duplicates of all essentials in your purse and stash them somewhere.

Get help. Set up a danger code involving a reference to a non-existent person (“Aunt Shirley called today” etc) so that children, friends, neighbors or co-workers can sound the alarm. If you can manage to call 911, get the names and badge numbers of dispatchers, responding officers, doctors and nurses, and make sure to tell them everything that happened, and have them document and photograph everything. This is essential for taking all this to court.

Find out whether the local police station is 24/7 – don’t run there if it’s closed!


Now, I am going to add something controversial here. Generally, domestic violence victims should never try to fight with their abusers – it’s safer to just get out (if possible) and it looks better in court if you’ve never hit him. However, there may be isolated instances in which you know that (a) you really need to get out now, and (b) the only way out is to defend yourself, and (c) you don’t think that curling up on the floor while he attacks you is going to solve the problem. In that last extremity, if you must fight him off, then absolutely fight dirty.

--If you try to hit him, hit for hit, you lose, because he’s bigger. So add everything: scratching, spitting, pulling hair, biting. Fighting back will probably be a surprise – the one thing all bullies hate.
--Go for the sensitive spots. You have the Big Four, the SING pattern – Solar plexus (the belly just under the ribs), the Instep (the side of the foot, easy to stomp on), the Nose (it bleeds like crazy), and the Groin (no explanation needed). S-I-N-G. Also the eyes, the throat, ears, hair.
--Anything sharp or hard can be a weapon. Go for sharp rather than hard – it’s easier and more effective for a woman to cut him than bruise him badly.
--If you manage to hit him once and immobilize him, nail him again and again so he doesn’t recover quickly. If he can target vulnerability, so can you.
--Use your arms to block his blows, like Mister Miyagi taught you. His main advantage his hitting from the upper body, and if you can block that, you take away a big advantage.
--Scream. The one thing that terrifies an abuser is an audience.
--In the last extremity, if he is holding a gun and you feel you have no other choice, then either grab his gun arm and shove it away while you hit him elsewhere or shove him down. Or, grab the gun itself and twist hard – you might actually snap off his trigger finger.
--Do these things only until you’ve gotten an opportunity to run, and then run. Because escaping is the point of the whole thing.
--Just remember that all the damage you do to him, he’s going to complain to the police about.

I mention these strategies only because they did a study of other man-on-woman violence, mostly involving rape and robbery, and they found that if a woman felt that fighting was her only choice, then fighting back did NOT significantly increase the risk of serious injury, whereas being passive, pleading and freezing up didn’t work. So you only do this stuff only if you think it’s your only choice. Again, the smart thing to do is use your intuition and get the hell out before things get this bad.
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Re: Planning For Your Safety, PRIOR to a Violent Incident

Postby Wisedude » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:17 am

My person advice is you should not continue in or be in a relationship where you feel there is a significant chance of violence, even more so if you have children.

However, I know various women that have been abused violently in relationships and keep going back time and time again to their abusers. Talking to these woman about the situation has not resulted in any difference.

With children, I never give up support, but with some of the women I know, well I am unwilling to be involved in their situations after a certain point where they repeatedly go back to the same guy, time and time again. Unfortunately I have to let them deal with the consequences, my only advise being "leave him" and "call the police" if he becomes violent.

In my country I have reported domestic violence various times in my life time, but now to be honest I am not inclined to do so. I have had some very bad experience with the police basically not caring or even taking seriously what I have said, despite the cases I have reported being very serious indeed.

In the past I have reported some shocking cases of both child and partner abuse. Unfortunately in the cases I have experienced the women stayed with the men, and nothing was done regarding the children.

Also some women I know every single relationship they have ever been in has been extremely abusive. They have been in several relationships over the years and they are all the same. I have done my best to talk to them, and strongly encourage them to try and get involved with different types of guys, non-violent ones, but it has not had an impact.


*[mod edit] TRIGGER WARNING[end mod edit]
I mean one woman I know has nearly been killed several times. He drunken ex boyfriend deliberately crashed the car and they were trapped in the wreckage for several hours. This boyfriend choked her unconscious on various occasions, bashed her unconscious, and this is his general pattern. She still see's him!

However I have also in my time met some men that have been victims of severe domestic violence by women. So the reverse does sometimes happen.
Last edited by Cheze2 on Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added trigger warning
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Re: Planning For Your Safety, PRIOR to a Violent Incident

Postby masquerade » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:40 pm

Wisedude, it is obvious from your post that you have been fortunate enough not to have been involved in a violent or abusive relationship, because, in all honesty, your post contains no empathetic understanding of the dynamics of abuse, or the effects it has upon its victims, who may have been gaslighted, brainwashed, and coerced into remaining in abusive relationships.

However, I know various women that have been abused violently in relationships and keep going back time and time again to their abusers. Talking to these woman about the situation has not resulted in any difference.

With children, I never give up support, but with some of the women I know, well I am unwilling to be involved in their situations after a certain point where they repeatedly go back to the same guy, time and time again. Unfortunately I have to let them deal with the consequences, my only advise being "leave him" and "call the police" if he becomes violent.


I can see that you have done no meaningful research upon the subject, upon the psychological effects of abuse upon the victim, or your would be aware that the average victim of domestic abuse remains with her partner for quite some time after the first instance of abuse, and may have been assaulted numerous times, often into double or even treble figures before they leave the relationship. Why is this? Because they are very often isolated, controlled emotionally and financially by the abusive partner, they may believe their promises that they will change, there may be children involved and the abusive partner may threaten to separate them from their children. The reasons why they may stay may be myriad. They might be brainwashed into believing that they "deserved" the abuse. They might believe they have nowhere to go if they leave. Their partner may threaten their familes if they leave. Their partner may have caused them to believe that the abuse was not serious. They may have become so emotionally, psychologically and physically exhausted and drained by the experience that they may lack the motivation to leave their partner. Years of abusive patterns in the relationship may have created what is known as the Stockholm Syndrome,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

In addition, their partners may have influenced their employers, neighbours, families and friends into not believing the victim to the extent that the victim may doubt their own perceptions.

Wisedude, it is never so simple that a victim can simply leave, as you suggest. I say this not only from personal experience of being in an abusive relationship, but after witnessing abusive relationships in people close to me and through working with the victims, both in this forum and in 3D

In my country I have reported domestic violence various times in my life time, but now to be honest I am not inclined to do so. I have had some very bad experience with the police basically not caring or even taking seriously what I have said, despite the cases I have reported being very serious indeed.


To encourage others not to report abuse when it is patently occurring is irresponsible and could literally be a matter of life and death.

The reason why victims appear not to take "advice" is because the abuse itself has caused complex issues, some of which may have existed before the abuse occurred. A person needs to be given the opportunity to express their autonomy, have their self esteem built up, and know that they have a supportive network if they choose to leave the relationship. Choices should never be imposed upon a person, and they can only decide to leave an abusive relationship when they themselves feel ready to do so. It needs to be remembered that they have been or are in a relationship in which their personal choices may have been denied. To choose to leave a victim to their own devices if they have not heeded advice is irresponsible and even implies that the victim is somehow to "blame" for their situation. This is a very dangerous misconception.

This thread has been created as a resource for the victims of abuse and it is not designed to be a means of debate containing personal opinions as to what constitutes abuse or why people choose to remain in the relationship. To enter into any form of debate or to express personal opinions in this thread can only cause the reason why the thread was created in the first place to be lost. Please can members leave this thread as it stands.
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