health care,
education and
social services

health care,
education  and
social services

10 Tips to Protect Yourself in Case of Domestic Violence

Did you know that domestic violence isn’t just physical? It’s also emotional, sexual, or economic abuse with one intimate partner trying to gain power and control over the other partner, and it affects more people than you might think. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people in the United States are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. That’s more than 10 million women and men every year.

Our DV Support team has compiled these 10 tips to help you protect yourself:

1. Think of people who care about you that you can contact immediately, who are geographically close to you but far enough from the threatening situation, who can house you and your children temporarily, who can stow personal items for you, or who have access to transportation.

2. Create a “code word” to send to friends and family so they know when you need help.    

3. Map the nearest police station or fire house.

4. Keep important documents in a safe place, including your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, lease or house deed, car registration, medical records, medications, etc.

5. Set cash aside in a safe place for emergency transportation.

6. Keep an extra set of house and car keys.

7. Have a phone charger handy.

8. Call 911 or go to the nearest police station or fire house if your partner is violent towards you. The police will help you and will not discriminate based on language, immigration status, or finances.

9. Take photos of any injuries. Documenting injuries immediately is extremely helpful for investigations.

10. Turn off GPS/location services on your phone to ensure an attacker cannot track you down.

If you have suffered domestic violence, please know that you and your children deserve better and that help is available. Mary’s Center, with the support of Department of Human Services, Family Services Administration of the District of Columbia,is just one of the many organizations that want to help you stay safe and enjoy a life free from fear. Don’t hesitate to call our Domestic Violence (DV) Support Program at 202-313-1705 for FREE and CONFIDENTIAL counseling, referrals for legal advice, support groups, and more.

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