More than 25 percent of battered women remain in a relationship with their abuser. Are you one of those women who stay? The National Network to End Domestic Violence shares the six steps to protect yourself and your children.
1) Listen to yourself and make plans for your safety.
If you feel afraid, there's probably a good reason for your fear. Don't hesitate to reach out for help.
2) Talk to an advocate at a domestic violence program.
These advocates can provide you with support and help and make plans to keep you and your children safe.
3) Talk to your kids about how to keep themselves safe if the situation were to escalate.
This may mean teaching them to call 911 or run to a neighbor's house if they feel threatened.
4) Make copies of all important paperwork.
Make copies of social security numbers, birth certificates, immunization records, and keep this documentation in a safe place.
5) Seek legal advice.
Try to locate an attorney who has experience dealing with domestic violence cases.
6) Seek a therapist.
If your partner is willing to work on his or her behavior, seek counseling. Even if your mate is unwilling to change, or doesn't view the behavior as violent, a good therapist can help you understand that the abuse is not about you.
If you or someone you love is being abused, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233). For more information, visit NDVH.org.