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Friday, August 5, 2011

Domestic Violence: Fearful Friday

 
If you are being abused, we need to ensure something is in place for you. Something extremely important. Something that needs to take priority over everything else you are focusing on.

A safety plan. 

I know your life takes all the energy you have. I know that surviving from day to day is a monumental achievement. I know that you've heard him put you down so many times that you believe his lies. However, it's so important that you do find time to think about this.

A safety plan.

Developing a safety plan can support you to be safe during a violent incident. It may help reduce the risk of serious harm. You can draw on the plan if you find yourself in immediate danger or if you must leave your home to preserve your safety. 

Even before you think about a full safety plan, think about the safest area in your house. This is an area where you may be able to move to if you suspect there may be an argument. A safe part of the house is a low risk area which has access to an outside door. High risk areas are the bathroom, garage, and kitchen since there are potential weapons close by. Closets or walk-in-robes with no exit are also unsafe areas.

Always remember to draw on your judgement and intuition. If the situation is very serious, you can give your partner what he/she wants to calm him/her down. Protect yourself and your children until you are out of danger.

If you can, take your thinking to the next level. A more detailed safety plan can help prepare you and reduce the risk of physical harm if you plan to leave your relationship. It helps you know what to do in an emergency. Having a plan can also help to avoid or reduce the impact of violence, even if you remain in the home.

Thinking through the following aspects would put you on track for developing a more detailed safety plan: 
• Memorize or make a list of telephone numbers— friends, relatives, co-workers, or of a local program that can help.

• Prepare a suitcase with clothes, important documents and things you and your children may need. Leave it with someone you trust. Somewhere away from your home is best.


• Talk about a safety plan with your children. You should have a signal that only you and your children know. They must understand that once the signal is given, they have to leave the house quickly and that they must call the police or ask a neighbor to do so.


• Ask a trusted neighbour to call the police when they see or hear the signal.


If you have even more energy, then you can read the following suggestions to find something that supports you best. Every situation will be different, so choose one that fits you best:


Valuing yourself enough to create a plan for your own safety is an important place to begin to undo some of the great damage you have already experienced.

Lifeline
Phone: 13 11 14 (cost of local call from landline)
Website: http://www.lifeline.org.au/

ReachOut Australia is a source of excellent support for women in abusive relationships.

If you're a blogger, please feel free to join me on Fearful Friday. You may have your own story to tell. Or you may want to draw on the content of my postings. Take my button from the side bar, and include a link back to my posting.
If we join forces and building community, we may help some women to begin strengthening themselves. 

2 comments:

  1. Wow Lorraine, I hope this post is very helpful to women who are living in fear. Thank you for thinking of others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Deborah. I started thinking I would write almost entirely about my experiences, but I've detoured into some mainly educational material, and for now that feels like a place to stay.

    There is such a shroud of shame and secrecy around domestic violence. Every little bit of light that can be shone down that dark, black hole is a good thing.

    ReplyDelete

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