- 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
- 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- Is your partner withdrawn or depressed?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.