What can I do?

If you are living in a home where domestic crimes are being committed, my sympathies are with  you. You are in a difficult situation, and likely are lost, confused, and unsure what to do. Maybe the abuse is only verbal, maybe it hasn’t gotten bad. But likely it will.

First, you have the right to be safe in your own home. That is your first priority. If you don’t feel safe- get out. One thing I want to address is that often the abuser may threaten more violence if you leave. I believe that no matter which you do, you are at risk. If you stay, you are in just as much danger than if you leave. But if you leave, at least you have a chance for safety and a better life.

Second, seek help. Make your decisions on whether to stay or leave, an educated decision. Learn about the domestic violence laws in your state. Learn what resources are there to support you. In every area, there are shelters and  domestic violence support programs. Even if you aren’t ready to leave yet, seek them out. Learn more about domestic violence and what is there to help you. Learn the domestic violence laws in your area. Learn about what effects the violence in a home can have on your children. If you still feel you need to stay, then try to get the abuser into some type of counseling. Most areas have programs for abusers, to try to teach them how to control their anger and what effect they are really having on the household and the children. Often an abuser will say they are sorry. If they are truly sorry, they will agree to get help.

Maybe you aren’t being abused, but know of someone who is. Maybe you would like to help but don’t know how. Be supportive. Be vigilant for ways you can help. And as I described above, learn as much as you can about domestic violence. Don’t bash the abuser. If you do, you will only drive away the person you are trying to help. You don’t have to be the abusers best friend, but learn to control how you talk to him and about him. You want to stay in contact with the victim. Many times an abuser will try to isolate their victim from any supporters. If you bash him, that will give him the excuse to do that. Now comes the hard part. If you feel that a child is being abused, report it right away. And if nothing is done, make more reports. Report to children’s services and to your local law enforcement. Do it right away, because if there is bruising, that will help to substantiate your report. Also, an angry child is more likely to tell what really happened to them.

I would be remiss if I did not include this part. If you are a person who has committed some type of domestic abuse, you have a chance to make your life at home better. Seek help. Yes, maybe it only happened once, you are sorry, and you are determined not to let it happen again. But if you lost control to the extent that you abused once, it will likely happen again. You need a little help with some techniques to control your feelings. There is help out there for you, but you may have to seek it out. You also need to learn about domestic violence. How it affects the victim, how it affects any children in your home. How it affects your friends and family members.

Whether you are victim, abuser, or family member. Do not feel embarassed to seek help. You may feel alone, but you aren’t. There are others out there with similiar problems. And there is help out there. Do not be too embarrassed to seek it out. You do not have to be a victim or an abuser. You can get help.

On the right of this page (toward the bottom), I have posted some links so you can start learning about domestic violence. They will get you started. More information can be found on the internet, local library, and domestic violence programs and often even your local phone book. What I have posted is mostly National info. If you need to seek out local info, I would suggest contacting the local law enforcement, library, and domestic violence programs. They can help with info about what is available locally for both victims and abusers.