Domestic violence doesn’t always follow a predictable cycle or pattern, but sometimes there are signs that a person might be at risk of severe harm or fatal violence. The following are behaviors or circumstances that may increase these risks:
- Has your partner harmed or threatened you with a weapon?
- Do they own or have easy access to a gun?
- Has your partner choked or strangled you?
- Have you recently left, separated from, or divorced your partner? Are you considering doing any of these things?
Often, there are things going on in life that are making the abuse worse or making it harder to decide what step to take next. It’s important to understand life barriers that are also impacting your safety.
- How hard is it for you to pay for the very basics like food, housing, medical care, utilities, etc.?
- Has lack of reliable transportation kept you from the doctor, work, appointments, or getting things needed for daily living?
- Are you using substances to cope with the abuse and trauma you have experienced?
- How often do you see or talk to people that you care about and feel close to?
- Do you have reliable, affordable childcare?
They often see, hear and feel the abuse occurring in their homes. Consider some of the following when thinking about your children’s safety:
- Reassure children that violent words or actions at home are not their fault & they aren’t responsible for stopping them.
- Prepare children for what to do during an argument or violent incident in the home to minimize exposure. Develop code words as needed.
- Communicate with caretakers regarding who has permission to pick your children up. Be sure they recognize those people.
- Share copies of orders of protection with your child’s school or daycare.
- Plan for visitation exchanges and unsupervised visits.