Domestic & Dating Violence
Personalized Safety Plan
DOMESTIC & DATING VIOLENCE
Domestic or Intimate Partner Violence is about Power and Control, and involves one person in an intimate, personal relationship (current or past) maintaining control over another person through any combination of physical, sexual, economic, emotional, and/or psychological abuse. It occurs in all socioeconomic, racial, religious, and ethnic groups, at all educational levels. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, but women are the victims the majority of the time.
Ninety-six to ninety-eight percent of intimate partner victims are women.
Men can be victims too!
“Domestic Violence is the #1 way women, ages 18-50, are injured in this country. Domestic Violence is the #1 way pregnant women die in
this country. One in four women in the U.S. will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
U. S. Department of Justice
Victims are often too afraid or ashamed to tell anyone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 911 if in immediate crisis, then the VRC hotline (24/7) at 1-866-343-8808 or our office at (315) 331-1171, Monday – Friday (8:30 am – 4:00 pm).
Keep your personal records off-site (see “Personalized Safety Plan”), have someone take photographs of any bruises (date and sign them), and come to the VRC for safe shelter or if we are unable to assist you directly we will provide appropriate information and referrals. Never meet your ex alone…always at a public place such as in a Walmart Store, or in front of a police station, not at his or your home, not in a parking lot or a remote location. Always have someone go with you…there is safety in numbers. The VRC provides assistance for victims of domestic abuse in filing to obtain temporary orders of protection. We also provide short-term counseling; personal, community, medical, and criminal justice advocacy; information and referrals; support groups; domestic violence shelter; and more. We do not make decisions for you. We empower you with information to make the best decisions for your own life. There is hope for a safe and happy future, free from violence.
If anyone places an object, cord, rope, or hands around your neck, go immediately to the emergency room and use the word “strangled” – request that the hospital perform a “strangulation test.”
RECOGNIZING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Does your partner…
- Call you names, yell, put you down, make racial or homophobic slurs, or constantly criticize or undermine you and your abilities as a wife, partner, or mother?
- Behave in an overprotective way or become extremely jealous?
- Make it difficult for you to see family or friends, or say terrible things about
your family and friends?
- Prevent you from getting or keeping a job or going to school?
- Limit your access to health, prescription and/or dental appointments or insurance or practice
“birth control sabotage” by putting holes in condoms or hiding or disposing of your birth
control (women are 4x’s as likely to be seriously injured if their partner practices this type of
power and control)?
- Humiliate or embarrass you in front of people?
- Deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, or the car?
- Control all the finances, force you to account for what you spend, or take your money?
- Threaten to report you to the authorities (the police, courts, Homeland Security/Immigration), or
child protective services?
- Make you afraid by using looks, actions, or gestures
- Display weapons as a way of making you afraid or directly threaten you with weapons?
- Use anger or “loss of temper” as a threat to get you
to do what he wants?
- Use the excuse of alcohol or drugs to explain their behavior?
- Threaten to expose your sexual orientation to friends, family, or employer?
- Carry out threats to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends, or himself?
- Destroy personal property or throw things around?
- Grab, push, hit, punch, slap, kick, and/or bite you? Pull your hair?
- Does s/he try to strangle or choke you? (Victims
are 5x’s as likely to be murdered by someone who tries to choke or strangle them.) If
someone tries to choke or strangle you, go immediately to a hospital emergency room and
notify the hospital personnel that someone tried to strangle you.
- Force you, when you do not want to have sex or engage in sexual acts?
- Prevent you from taking medications or getting medical care?
- Deny you access to food, fluids, phone, and/or transportation?
ORDERS OF PROTECTION
In New York State a victim of domestic violence can file a family offense petition in Family Court. For you to file a “family offense petition” you must be legally married to the abuser; divorced from the abuser; related to the abuser by blood or marriage; have a child in common (biologically or legally adopted); and, as of July 24, 2008, with the passing of the Fair Access to Family Court
Laws A11707/S8665 in “other intimate relationships (not casual, social or business acquaintances),” allowing all victims of domestic violence access to civil orders of protection.
There are three types of orders of protection afforded victims in Family Court: (1) “Refrain From” Offensive Conduct; (2) a “Stay-Away”; and (3) a “Removal”. The “refrain from” imposes conditions of behavior that the abuser must abide by but s/he may still live in the home with the victim; a “stay-away” order prevents the perpetrator from returning to the residence, or going to the victim’s place of employment, or any other location where the victim is present; a “removal” order of protection causes the perpetrator to be removed from the residence and s/he cannot return to that home unless by court order. The abuser does not have to be arrested or charged for you to secure a “family offense” order of protection in Family Court.
To secure a criminal order of protection, the victim must call the police and charges must be brought against the abuser for the domestic violence. In criminal court the District Attorney can decide to proceed with the case with or without your participation.
If the police are called regarding a domestic violence incident, they will complete a Domestic Incident Report (DIR) form. They are required to provide you with a copy of the DIR, even if an arrest is not made. The report should include a Victim Rights Notice, which explains your rights and how to find the VRC or if living in a county outside of Wayne, the local domestic violence agency; the officers’ names and badge numbers; and an explanation if they are not arresting the abuser. Your statement should also be a written description of what happened, so write your statement carefully and/or review it if the officer transcribes your statement, and review it for errors. Be as accurate as possible. Providing a false statement is against the law.
If you secure an order of protection, make copies and always have a copy with you and in safe places. Provide your workplace with a copy. If your children are listed on the family offense order of protection or the criminal order of protection, distribute copies of the order to their childcare workers, school, classroom teacher, grandparents, etc. See Personalized Safety Plan at this website.
Wayne County, NY, handles domestic violence cases in Family Court. The Family Court handles domestic violence cases as well as other issues such as custody, visitation, and other Family Court issues. You may have matters pending in Criminal, Family Court, Supreme Court (divorce, etc.), Immigration Court, and/or courts in other counties.
The Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc. (VRC) does not support, encourage, or participate in the reduction of orders of protection. Always remember that the order of protection document is a piece of paper, and cannot protect you from harm. It is just one tool in keeping you and your children safe. If you are in immediate danger call 911.
PERSONALIZED SAFETY PLAN: Keep this plan in a safe place – a family member or friend’s home
How May We Help?
LET’S FIND A WAY FORWARD TOGETHER.