Domestic abuse plagues far too many households in the United States, and it shouldn’t be ignored. For anyone struggling with domestic abuse, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some tips to protect yourself while facing domestic violence.
1. Make Sure Your Home Is Safe and Secure
Many homes do not have modern security systems in place, leaving them vulnerable to potential threats. If you’re living in one of the 50% of homes built before 1980, consider installing an alarm system or making other security upgrades. These can include better locks and deadbolts, exterior lighting fixtures, and surveillance cameras. Having such measures in place will give you peace of mind while giving abusers fewer opportunities to infiltrate your home.
2. Have an Emergency Exit Plan
If an abuser has access to your home, you must have a plan in place for how to quickly and safely escape should the need arise. Make sure everyone in the household knows where they should go if someone is trying to harm them. It’s also a good idea to keep a bag packed with essential items you can quickly grab if you have to leave in a hurry, such as clothing, money, identification documents, and phone chargers.
3. Seek Legal Support
No one should have to suffer from domestic abuse. If you’re experiencing domestic violence, consider seeking legal support from a lawyer or the local police department. They can help to protect your rights and provide resources that can be used in court if necessary. It’s also important to take out a restraining order against an abuser; about 90% of initial civil petitions for this type of order are typically granted, as are police requests for emergency orders.
4. Reach Out to Support Organizations
No one should ever feel like they’re alone when facing domestic abuse. Several organizations offer support and resources to those struggling with domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is one of the most well-known organizations. By reaching out to this and other support groups, you can get access to counseling, legal assistance, and more.
5. Don’t Assume It Only Happens To Adult Women
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender or age. More than one in three women and one in four men experience domestic violence. It’s important to recognize that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and that it’s not just limited to adult women.
Children and teens are also at risk of domestic abuse, and it’s important to recognize that they may need help. If you have children in your home, make sure they know what to do if someone is trying to hurt them, and be aware of any changes in their behavior that could indicate distress.
6. Learn Self Defense
If you are in a situation where you feel like your safety is in danger, it’s important to know how to protect yourself. Consider enrolling in a self-defense class or reading up on the basics of self-defense. Knowing some basic techniques can help you defend yourself if an abuser tries to physically harm you.
If money is a concern, don’t fret. Many community centers offer self-defense classes for free. Additionally, there are plenty of resources available online that can help you learn some basic techniques.
It’s also important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people experience domestic abuse every year, and there are resources available to help you take the necessary steps for staying safe. By following these tips, anyone facing domestic violence can take control and protect themselves from harm. Please seek assistance if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse.