Making the decision to leave an abusive relationship is difficult.
You may need to not only consider the safety of your children and yourself, but also where you will live, how you will secure money and food and how you will handle harassment from your partner.
Remember, that it is your choice alone whether to stay with or leave your partner. No one can make this decision for you. No matter what you decide, there will be people who agree and disagree with your choice. You need to do what you feel is best for yourself and your children. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with staying in the abusive relationship and leaving it.
If you believe you are in an abusive relationship, where can you get help? What should you do to protect yourself? You will find answers to these questions on these pages.
Where to go for help
LOCAL and RIVERSIDE COUNTY AREA:
- Child Protective Services http://dpss.co.riverside.ca.us/dpss/
- Prevent Child Abuse Riverside County www.pcariverside.org
- United Way of the Inland Valleys www.uwiv.org
- Corona-Norco United Way www.cnunitedway.org
- Central County United Way Central County United Way www.ccuw.orgwww.ccuw.org
- Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center www.rarcc.org
- Riverside County Suicide HELP Line: (951) 686-4357
- Other County Referrals: Call 211
STATE OF CALIFORNIA:
- Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence
450 Sutter St #600, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone (415) 954-9988 ext. 315
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building
699 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3175
Phone: (703) 274-3900, Fax: (703) 274-2200
- Faith Trust Institute
2400 N. 45th Street #10, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone (206) 634-1903
- Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community
University of Minnesota School of Social Work, College of Human Ecology
290 Peters Hall, 1404 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
- United States Department of Justice
Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
- Jewish Women International
2000 “M” Street NW #720, Washington, DC 20036
- Violence Against Women Office
U.S. Department of Justice
10th and Constitution Avenue NW #5302, Washington, DC 20530
Phone (202) 616-8994
- Sacred Circle
National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women
722 Saint Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
- National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (ALIANZA)
P.O. Box 672, Triborough Station, New York, NY 10035
Phone (646) 672-1404
- Family Violence Prevention Fund
National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
383 Rhode Island Street #304, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone (415) 252-8900, TTY 1-800-595-4889
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
P.O. Box 161810, Austin, TX 78716
Phone 1-800-799-7233, TTY 1-800-787-3224
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW #600, Washington, DC 20005
Phone (202) 393-5177
- National Center for Elder Abuse
1201 15th Street NW #350, Washington, DC 20005
- Office for Victims of Crime Trafficking Efforts
Web site http://www.jop.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/timp.htm
Technology Safety Planning
Created June 2003, Revised May 2004 by Safety Net: the National Safe & Strategic Technology Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Tips to discuss if someone you know is in danger
Technology can be very helpful to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking, however it is important to also consider how technology might be misused.
- Trust your instincts. If you suspect the abusive person knows too much, it is possible that your phone, computer, email, or other activities are being monitored. Abusers and stalkers can act in incredibly persistent and creative ways to maintain power and control.
- Plan for safety. Navigating violence, abuse and stalking is very difficult and dangerous. Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline have been trained on technology issues, and can discuss options and help you in your safety planning. Local hotline advocates can also help you plan for safety. Call ADV’s 24-hour Crisis Line.
- Take precautions if you have a “techy” abuser. If computers and technology are a profession or a hobby for the abuser/stalker, trust your instincts. If you think he/she may be monitoring or tracking you, talk to a Crisis Line advocate or the police.
- Use a safer computer. If anyone abusive has access to your computer, he/she might be monitoring your computer activities. Try to use a safer computer when you look for help, a new place to live, etc. It may be safest to use a computer at a public library, community center or Internet café.
- Create a new email account. If you suspect that anyone abusive can access your email, consider creating an additional email account on a safer computer. Do not create or check this new email from a computer your abuser could access, in case it is monitored. Use an anonymous name and account: (example: firstname.lastname@example.org, not YourRealName@email.com) Look for free web-based email accounts and do not provide detailed information about yourself.
- Check your cell phone settings. If you are using a cell phone provided by the abusive person, consider turning it off when not in use. Also, many phones let you to “lock” the keys so a phone won’t automatically answer or call if it is bumped. When on, check the phone settings; if your phone has an optional location service, you may want to switch the location feature off/on via phone settings or by turning your phone on and off.
- Change passwords & pin numbers. Some abusers use victim’s email and other accounts to impersonate and cause harm. If anyone abusive knows or could guess your passwords, change them quickly and frequently. Think about any password protected accounts – online banking, voicemail, etc.
- Minimize use of cordless phones or baby monitors. If you don’t want others to overhear your conversations, turn baby monitors off when not in use and use a traditional corded phone for sensitive conversations.
- Use a donated or new cell phone. When making or receiving private calls or arranging escape plans, try not to use a shared or family cell phone because cell phone billing records and phone logs might reveal your plans to an abuser. Contact ADV’s Crisis Line to learn about donation programs that provide new cell phones and/or prepaid phone cards to victims of abuse and stalking.
- Ask about your records and data. Many court systems and government agencies are publishing records to the Internet. Ask agencies how they protect or publish your records and request that court, government, post office and others seal or restrict access to your files to protect your safety.
- Get a private mailbox and don’t give out your real address. When asked by businesses, doctors, and others for your address, have a private mailbox address or a safer address to give them. Try to keep your true residential address out of national databases.
- Search for your name on the Internet. Major search engines such as “Google” or “Yahoo” may have links to your contact information. Search for your name in quotation marks: “Full Name” Check phone directory pages because unlisted numbers might be listed if you have given the number to anyone.
For more technology safety information, call:
ADV’s 24-hour Crisis Line: 1-800-339-SAFE (7233) or 951-683-0829 TTY 951-679-8365
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 800-787-3224
Organizations I can call for help:
- Call 9-1-1 for police or sheriff
- ADV Crisis Line – (951) 683-0829 or 1-800-339-7233
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224
Call ADV for more information regarding a safety plan that is personalized for your protection and particular situation.