Thursday, January 9, 2014

Personalized Domestic Violence Safety Plan

Personalized Safety Plan

If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

If you do not have a working phone but have an old cell phone with no service plan, do not discard it! It may still be used to call 911. Keep the battery charged and keep it in a quickly accessible location. "Any old, decommissioned cell phone can be used to make 911 calls, as long as the battery is good.The Federal Communications Commission requires all cell phone service providers, like Sprint, AT&T and Bell Atlantic, to accept 911 calls from any wireless phone" - http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/16/technology/old-cell-phones-can-still-call-911.html

Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. The resources in this book can help you to make a safety plan that works best for you. It is important to get help with your safety plan. Many of the resources listed in this book can help you.

If you are in an abusive relationship, think about...
  1. Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
  2. Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
  3. How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.
  4. Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
  5. Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
  6. Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  7. Going over your safety plan often.
If you consider leaving your abuser, think about...
  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.
  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
  3. Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.
  4. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
  5. How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.
  6. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
  7. Putting together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.

 Children (if it is safe)
 Keys to car, house, work
 Extra clothes
 Important papers for you and your children
 Birth certificates
 Social security cards
 School and medical records
 Bankbooks, credit cards
 Driver's license
 Car registration
 Welfare identification
 Passports, green cards, work permits
 Lease/rental agreement
 Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
 Insurance papers
 PPO, divorce papers, custody orders
 Address book
 Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
 Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)
     8. Think about reviewing your safety plan often.

 If you have left your abuser, think about...
  1. Your safety - you still need to.
  2. Getting a cell phone. HAVEN may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911. These phones are for when you need to call the police and cannot get to any other phone.
  3. Getting a PPO from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
  4. Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.
  5. Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.
  6. Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a PPO protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.
  7. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a PPO that includes where you work, consider giving your boss a copy of it and a picture of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace. This should include going to and from work.
  8. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
  9. Someone that you can call if you feel down. Call that person if you are thinking about going to a support group or workshop.
  10. Safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.
  11. Going over your safety plan often.
WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim's lives. When abusers feel a loss of control - like when victims try to leave them - the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.
This section on personalized safety planning adapted from the Metro Nashville Police Department's personalized safety plan.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preparing the Church to Respond to Domestic Abuse

Preparing the Church to Respond to Domestic Abuse (video segment of Seneca Falls 2)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Dorcas Network at Seneca Falls 2

How can church fellowships be a support to protective and/or non-custodial parents? How can Christians support women and families who are experiencing domestic abuse?

Janice Levinson, co-founder with Lundy Bancroft of the Protective Mother's Alliance International and Waneta Dawn, author of, Behind the Hedge , a novel that explores the effects of domestic abuse on a Mennonite family, are featured speakers at the Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women's Rights Convention  .

Domestic Violence is our business. Let's learn how to respond compassionately, effectively, and Biblically!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Are You Safe?

It is awkward for those who have had little or no experience in the matter to reach out to someone they suspect may be a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence, but there are some non-offensive ways of approaching the subject if given an opening. For instance, It was confided to me by a fellow church member that she was experiencing marital problems and was planning on separating from her husband. I could have recommend that she and her husband see one of the pastors for couple's counseling, but I suspected something was going on beyond simple marital discord. I gently asked the woman if she was safe, and her story came tumbling out. She had not confided in anyone at church what she had been going through, and she was devastated at the thought of leaving her abusive husband, but knew she had to. I assured her that the safety of her daughter and herself was paramount, and that she could take time to contemplate the future once that was accomplished.

One step at a time really does apply when it comes to leaving a violent or potentially violent home. And assuring a woman (who is going through the tortuous process of trying to plan for the future while her present is nothing but chaos) that she does not have to deal with all her tomorrows today can be very soothing as there is little doubt that she is frantic about tomorrow as well as her current situation.

Use wisdom, but do get involved. These women need your friendship and support as they struggle to make decisions of life and death import.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seneca Falls 2, Conference Tour Details

The false doctrine of female subordination to male authority lies at the very root of domestic abuse and domestic violence among professing Christians. The premise is despotic and abusive in and of itself. Domestic Violence among Christians will never be eradicated until gender equality is acknowledged and practically implemented. That is why the Seneca Falls 2 Conference Tour should be of interest to anyone concerned with addressing domestic violence and domestic abuse among Christians. All Seneca Falls 2 conferences will include sessions in responding compassionately, Biblically, and effectively to victims of domestic violence and abuse within our spheres of influence. The first conference is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, 2010, location to be announced. For more information or to be notified of a conference in your area, visit: http://www.senecafalls2.com/

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mommy Fight For Us!

This is the last time we will be writing about the Battered Mothers Custody Conference after the conference is over. In the future, The Dorcas Network will be promoting the conference throughout the year. How does this align with the “Strictly Christian” approach to Domestic Violence and Christian response? In answer to that we refer you to Proverbs 24:10-12 jav: If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. If you neglect to deliver them that are drawn to their deaths, and those that are ready to be slain; If you say, Behold, we knew it not; does not he that knows the heart consider it? And he that holds your soul in his power, does not he know it? And shall he not hold you accountable?

Women are dying from domestic violence. Children, handed over to abusers in the name of "justice" are dying—and not just a few. Those who do not die or suffer permanent physical injuries carry internal scars that will affect them for the rest of their lives. This is our business! He who searches the hearts tells us clearly that it is our business. It is also part of the way that we, as Christians, respond compassionately, effectively, and Biblically to the sin and crime of domestic violence. It is part of the way we obey the command of Christ to be light and salt in our world.

The conference addresses the issues of domestic violence and protective parents (whether the protective parents are mothers or fathers). Do not believe for a moment that there are not many battered mothers and protective parents among the ranks of professing Christians. Our churches are full of them.

We should attend this conference in order to educate ourselves. We should finance the trip for financially overburdened protective parents who would otherwise be unable to attend a conference that puts practical tools in the hands of those going through the very expensive, completely exhausting, legal nightmare of trying to protect their children.

You’ll pray for them? That’s a good thing, a very wonderful thing, now make the next step and put hands, feet, and wings to your prayers, add physical time, effort, and money to them. Hear the cry of a 2010 conference attendee’s daughters, who begged, “Mommy, fight for us. Do something every day to try to get us back and don’t ever stop.”

The Battered Mothers Custody Conference is held every January in Albany, New York. Plan on attending next year’s conference and, if you can, help send a protective parent as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Time to Get Involved--Domestic Violence Services Fall Victim to State Budget Cuts

With a recession going on, State budgets are being slashed, and funding for domestic violence programs and services are decreasing in some states. As vital as these services are, as Christians, we should not depend on state services to come to the aid of battered and domestically abused wives within our spheres of influence. But for many, like pastor's wife, Susan Greenfield, author of, Would the Real Church PLEASE Stand Up!, domestic violence shelters and services were all she and her children had to turn to, and domestic violence counselors, instead of her church family, were her supporters as she navigated the terrifying minefield of domestic abuse.

Christians, we must step up to the plate here, and stop shying away from becoming involved in these horrendous situations. Lives depend upon it. The Word of God commands us bear one another's burdens, and a battered wife who comes to us for help is in compliance with the scriptural admonition to seek godly counsel in her situation (Psalm 1:1).

The first step we need to take is to educate ourselves in understanding the issue and learning how to respond to the situation biblically and compassionately. That is the purpose for the books listed in the sidebar of this blog. Together, they make for a well rounded library for the person who wishes to understand the vital issue of domestic abuse and become equipped to deal effectively with it.

After all is said and done, some may yet need to avail themselves of the safety of a shelter, but let it not be said among us, who call ourselves by the name of Christ, that we looked the other way and forced one of our own to seek only secular help.