"What should I do if I'm abused?"
If you are the victim of Domestic Violence you should:
If you are in immediate danger - try to get away from the abuser. Go to a nearby neighbor's house to seek shelter, drive away to an area where there are alot of people, or go to a friend or relative's home. If at all possible, get away from the abuse.
Contact the police
Don't hesitate...call the Police. Our top priority is your safety. Maine has tough Domestic Violence Laws for your protection. Consider that police officers have experience dealing with domestic violence and may have information regarding resources or have suggestions you haven't already thought of.
Cooperate and follow-through!
Provide the police with a detailed account of what happened to you and/or your children. Often victims are reluctant to pursue their legal rights for a number of reasons. Having an incident documented may be helpful later on in both criminal and any possible civil proceedings.
Talk to Family Crisis Services
The police can put you in contact with a Family Crisis Services victim advocate, who can provide you with support, information and/or referrals for shelter for you and your children, counseling for the family, assistance in obtaining a Protection Order, food, clothes, and a variety of other services. Or you can contact Family Crisis Services directly, through their 24 hour hotline at 874-1973 or 1-800-537-6066.
DON'T BE ASHAMED!
The abuse is not your fault! South Portland Police Officers are concerned with your safety and that of your children. It is important to know that, once begun, the abuse will likely increase over time. We are here for you when you need assistance. We know that you are not to blame for the abuse.
Make a Safety Plan
- Tell someone you trust to tell what is going on. It's too hard to deal with this alone.
- Set up a code with a safe friend which means you are in trouble and need the police or someone to help you.
- Keep things you may need to get to a safe place somewhere private and handy: cash for a cab, your purse, car keys, and the phone numbers of safe people.
- Have a safe place you can go to if you have to leave home or school quickly.
- Practice how to get out of places where you and your partner spend a lot of time together alone.
- If tension is building, try to move the argument to a room with an easy way out -not a closed room like a bathroom or the kitchen where there are weapons.
- Ask your parent or a trusted adult to help you get a Protection from an Abuse Order that will legally keep your boyfriend/girlfriend away from you.
- Call Family Crisis Services to speak with a confidential, anonymous advocate.
No one deserves to be hurt or threatened.
No excuses justify abusive behavior.
There are laws to protect you.
There are places to go to get help.
For more information or assistance contact Family Crisis Services