- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- If you need safety or just need to talk to someone, Stepping Stones advocates are always available on our 24/7 Helpline: 928.445.HOPE (445.4673)
- TTY/TDD FOR HEARING IMPAIRED: Call 711, then provide our helpline to relay service 928.445.4673
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.7233
- In the Verde Valley, call: 800.930.7233
- Yavapai County Victim Assistance: 928.771.3485
This simple assessment looks at ten common characteristics of more extreme, potentially dangerous relationships. When two or more of these characteristics are seen together, there is reason to believe that there is an increased risk to you.
- Does your partner have a history of assaultive behavior, threats of or attempted homicide or suicide? Has he/she discussed murder/suicide pacts with you?
- Is your partner withdrawn or depressed? Are there particularly stressful life events going on – unemployment, poverty, death of a loved one, job change either demotion or promotion, etc.?
- Does he/she have a history of mental illness?
- Does your partner have weapons or access to weapons?
- Is your partner obsessed with you? Does he/she feel they cannot live without you, is socially isolated, feels hopeless about the future without you?
- Does your partner express rage about you leaving?
- Is your partner involved with or addicted to drugs and/or alcohol?
- Is your partner stalking you? Does he/she harass you? Does he/she refuse to leave you alone?
- Is there an escalation in your partner’s threats and/or actual physical violence?
- Does your partner have access to you? Does he/she know where you are and how to get to you?
There isn’t a magic number of “yes” answers that creates a dangerous situation for you. However, these components when found together do tend to indicate reason for concern. In some cases, it takes all nine to create a high risk situation. In others, only one or two are sufficient to believe that you are at risk!
A. THINGS YOU CAN HAVE IN PLACE IN CASE OF A VIOLENT INCIDENT:
- Make an extra copy of the house/car keys and keep the in a secret place, preferably outside your home.
- Tell ___________ about the violence and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises.
- Teach your children how to call the police.
- Teach your children to be safe by developing their own plan, i.e. stay in their bedroom during arguments, leave the house and go to a neighbor/friends, call 911 and/or tell a relative.
- Develop a code word with your children and friends so they can call for help.
- During an argument, try to avoid rooms with no outside door or those containing potential weapons.
- Call the police (911) and if possible, get an automatic dial phone.
- If you have to leave, identify where you can go.
B. SAFETY WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE:
- Call your nearest shelter and keep in contact with the advocates in order to feel supported and stay focused.
- DO NOT threaten to leave or say you are leaving your partner.
- Save a little money each week and put it in a place only you know about.
- Open your own savings account to increase independence. *Make sure bank statements are mailed somewhere else *
- Identify the domestic violence shelter closest to your house and have the phone number close at hand.
- Arrange for a place to stay, anytime of the day or night.
- Locate the closest telephone to your house. If it is a pay phone, always have change available in the house or hidden outside.
- Pack some clothes for you and your children, and place them in a safe place (with friends, family or at work).
- Organize your important papers together (or make copies), an extra set of keys, extra medicines and put them in a place you can easily get to.
- Rehearse your escape plan and, if appropriate, practice it with your children.
C. SAFETY WITH AN ORDER OF PROTECTION:
- DO NOT in any way contact your partner while you have an order of protection.
- Keep your order of protection on you at all times and give a copy to a trusted neighbor or family member.
- Call the police once the order of protection is violated.
- Think of alternative ways to keep safe.
- Inform you family, friends, neighbors and others that you have an order of protection in effect.
- Remember that orders of protection don’t guarantee safety.
D. SAFETY ON THE JOB AND IN PUBLIC:
- Have your place of business listed on your order of protection.
- Decided who at work you will inform of your situation, including office or building security. Provide a picture of your abuser.
- Discuss how co-workers or supervisors should respond if your abuser shows up at work.
- Arrange to have an answering machine, caller ID, or a trusted friend or relative screen your calls if possible.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car or bus and wait until you leave.
E. THOUGHTS ON CLEAR DECISIONS:
- Do not use drugs of alcohol. Stay clear and focused. Call for support!
- Call an advocate at Stepping Stones 24/7/365 for support & help staying focused on your goals.
- Make an appointment with an advocate at Stepping Stones to come in and help you design a more detailed and strategic safety plan, and/or to help set goals for personal growth & self-sufficiency.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: MAKE CHOICES FOR ACTION THAT MAKE YOUR SAFETY AND THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR CHILDREN THE PRIORITY.
Whether you just need to talk or you are trying to get out of an abusive relationship, you can call Stepping Stones Agencies’ 24/7/365 HelpLine at 928.445.HOPE (4673).
If you are in a dangerously abusive situation call 911 for assistance.