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A Vivid Study on Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can take different forms, but its goal is always the same: Batterers want to control their domestic partners through fear. They do this by regularly abusing them physically, sexually, psychologically and economically.

Here are some of the forms domestic violence can take:

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Hitting • Slapping • Kicking • Choking • Pushing • Punching • Beating.

VERBAL ABUSE

Constant criticism • Making humiliating remarks • Not responding to what the victim is saying • Mocking • Name-calling • Yelling • Swearing • Interrupting • Changing the subject.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Forcing sex on an unwilling partner • Demanding sexual acts that the victim does not want to perform • Degrading treatment.
ISOLATION

Making it hard for the victim to see friends and relatives • Monitoring phone calls • Reading mail • Controlling where the victim goes • Taking the victim’s car keys.
COERCION

Making the victim feel guilty • Pushing the victim into decisions • Sulking • Manipulating children and other family members • Always insisting on being right • Making up impossible “rules” and punishing the victim for breaking them.
HARASSMENT

Following or stalking • Embarrassing the victim in public • Constantly checking up on the victim • Refusing to leave when asked.
ECONOMIC CONTROL

Not paying bills • Refusing to give the victim money • Not letting the victim work • Interfering with the victim’s job • Refusing to work and support the family.
ABUSING TRUST

Lying • Breaking promises • Withholding important information • Being unfaithful • Being overly jealous • Not sharing domestic responsibilities.
THREATS AND INTIMIDATION

Threatening to harm the victim, the children, family members and pets • Using physical size to intimidate • Shouting • Keeping weapons and threatening to use them.
EMOTIONAL WITHHOLDING

Not expressing feelings • Not giving compliments • Not paying attention • Not respecting the victim’s feelings, rights and opinions • Not taking the victim’s concerns seriously.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

Destroying furniture • Punching walls • Throwing things • Breaking dishes.
SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR

Abusing drugs or alcohol • Threatening self-harm or suicide • Driving recklessly • Deliberately doing things that will cause trouble (like telling off the boss).

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Who Are The Abusers?

ABUSERS TYPICALLY:

· Can have very short fuses and become immediately angry, while others, equally as typical, are very cold and calculating.

· Deny that the abuse has occurred or make light of a violent episode.

· Blame the victim, other people or outside events for the violent attack.

ABUSERS DON’T ACT BECAUSE THEY ARE “OUT OF CONTROL.”

· Abusers choose to respond to a situation violently. They are making a conscious decision to behave in a violent manner.

· They know what they’re doing and what they want from their victims.

· They are not acting out of anger.

· They are not reacting to stress.

· They are not helplessly under the control of drugs and alcohol.

ABUSE IS A LEARNED BEHAVIOR.

· It is not a “natural” reaction to an outside event.

· It is not “normal” to behave in a violent manner within a personal relationship.

· It is learned from seeing abuse used as a successful tactic of control - often in the home in which the abuser grew up.

· It is reinforced when abusers are not arrested or prosecuted or otherwise held responsible for their acts.

ABUSERS MAY:

· Express remorse and beg for forgiveness with seemingly loving gestures.

· Be hard workers and good providers.

· Be witty, charming, attractive and intelligent.

· At times, be loving parents.

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Who Are The Victims?

MOST VICTIMS ARE WOMEN.

· A large majority of all reported victims are women.

· Teen-aged, pregnant and elderly women are especially at risk.

CHILDREN CAN BE DIRECT OR INDIRECT VICTIMS.

· They may be battered themselves.

· They may be forced to see their parent battered in front of them.

· The batterer may use threats to harm them as a means of controlling the victim.

· They grow up seeing battery as the natural way for domestic partners to relate to each other.

· They grow up in an insecure environment filled with tension and violence.

TEENAGERS EXPERIENCE DATING VIOLENCE.

· Teenagers are just as vulnerable to relationship violence and it is just as dangerous.

· Teenagers may not seek help because they distrust adults.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN ALSO OCCUR IN GAY AND LESBIAN HOUSEHOLDS.

· Gay and lesbian relationships are not immune to the pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors that constitute domestic violence.

· Victims may not seek help because they fear that no one will believe that violence occurs in gay and lesbian relationships.

ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS CAN BE VICTIMS.

· They may be battered by their adult children or caretakers.

· They may be physically unable to defend themselves or escape from the abuse.

· They may be physically or mentally unable to report the abuse to anyone.

VICTIMS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE VIOLENCE

· Studies have found no characteristic link between personality type and being a victim.

· Victims cannot stop the abuse by simply changing how they behave.

· Victims deserve to be safe from violence, regardless of age or sexual orientation.

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How to Help a Friend Who is a
Domestic Violence Victim

1. Bring up the subject. Don’t be afraid to let her know your concerns. Say that you can see what’s happening and that you want to help. Let her know she is not alone.

2. Acknowledge that she’s in a very difficult, scary situation. Let her know that it’s not her fault that she’s being battered. Encourage her to express her feelings of hurt or anger or humiliation. Remind her that the batterer, not the victim, is responsible for the abuse. Remember that it may be difficult for her to talk about it with you.

3. Don’t buy into her denial. If she refuses to acknowledge that she’s in a dangerous situation, let her know that you believe she is, and that you are concerned for her safety.

4. Respect her right to make her own decisions. Let her find her own way to her decisions. Don’t start with what you think she should do, or insist that she follow your plan.

5. Discuss this booklet with her. Help her identify the abusive behavior she is suffering. Go over the Power & Control and Equality wheels. Talk about shelters and the hotline.

6. Go with her. If she needs medical care, go with her. If she is going to the police, to court, or to see a lawyer, offer to go along. But let her do the talking.

7. Plan safe strategies with her. If she is contemplating leaving an abusive relationship, help her to develop her “safety plan.” Make sure she’s comfortable with the plan. Never encourage her to follow a plan that she doesn’t consider “safe.”

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How to Let Your Friends help You

If you are the domestic violence victim, let the people who care about you help you.
1. Confide in someone you trust. If you have a friend or relative who cares about your safety, tell them about the abuse. Sharing a burden with someone makes it lighter. If you’ve left your abusive relationship and are feeling lonely and tempted to return, talk it out with a friend who knows the situation.

2. Don’t get talked into taking action that doesn’t feel right to you. You are the only one who knows if you’re ready to leave your relationship, or go to the police, or seek emergency shelter. Make your own decisions, based on your own comfort level.

3. Leave an “emergency stash” with a friend. This could include extra money, a set of car keys, a change of clothes and copies of important documents that may come in handy in an emergency. Think of what you might need if you have to leave your home in a hurry.

4. Ask a friend to accompany you to important appointments. If you have medical appointments, or are going to the police, or to court, or to see a lawyer, take a friend along for moral support.

5. Discuss this booklet with a friend. Go over the Power & Control and Equality wheels. Discuss the types of abuse you are experiencing. Discuss your emergency plans.

6. Make sure a friend knows about your Personal Safety Plan. Ahead you will see how to start making your own Personal Safety Plan. Go over them with a friend and give that friend a copy of the plan.

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Safety Measures While You’re in an Abusive relationship

If you are living with the person who is battering you, here are some things you can do to ensure your and your children’s safety.
1. Have important phone numbers memorized -friends and relatives whom you can call in an emergency. If your children are old enough, teach them important phone numbers, including when and how to dial 911.

2. Keep this booklet in a safe place -where your batterer won’t find it, but where you can get it when you need to review it.

3. Keep change for pay phones with you at all times.

4. If you can, open your own bank account.

5. Stay in touch with friends -Get to know your neighbors. Resist any temptation to cut yourself off from people - even if you feel like you just want to be left alone.

6. Rehearse your escape plan until you know it by heart.

7. Leave a set of car keys, extra money, a change of clothes and copies of the following documents, with a trusted friend or relative:

· Your and your children’s birth certificates

· Your children’s school and medical records

· Bank books

· Welfare identification

· Passports or green cards

· Your social security card

· Lease agreements or mortgage payment books

· Insurance papers

· Important addresses and telephone numbers

· Any other important documents

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Safety After You Have
Left The Relationship

Once you no longer live with the batterer, here are some things you can do to enhance your and your children’s safety.
1. Change the locks -if you’re still in your home and the batterer is the one who has left.

2. Install as many security features as possible in your home. These might include metal doors and gates, security alarm system, smoke detectors and outside lights.

3. Inform neighbors that your former partner is not welcome on the premises. Ask them to call the police if they see that person loitering about your property or watching your home.

4. Make sure the people who care for your children are very clear about who does and who does not have permission to pick up your children.

5. Obtain a restraining order. Keep it near you at all times, and make sure friends and neighbors have copies to show the police.

6. Let your co-workers know about your situation -if your former partner is likely to come to your work place to bother you. Ask them to warn you if they observe that person around.

7. Avoid the stores, banks, and businesses you used when you were living with the batterer.

8. Get counseling. Attend workshops. Join support groups. Do whatever it takes to form a supportive network that will be there when you need it

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Your Personal Safety Plan

This section will help you plan for your safety. If you don’t have some of this information, now is the time to get it. IMPORTANT! KEEP THIS INFORMATION IN A SAFE AND PRIVATE PLACE WHERE YOUR BATTERER CANNOT FIND IT!

1. Important phone numbers:

Police: 911 or

Domestic Violence Hot Line: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) http://www.ndvh.org

My attorney:
Other:

2. I can call these friends or relatives in an emergency:

Name:
Phone:

Name:
Phone:

3. These neighbors will call the police if they hear me being battered:

Name:
Phone:

Name:
Phone:

4. I can go to these places if I have to leave my home in a hurry:

Name:
Phone:
Address:

Name:
Phone:
Address:

5. I have given copies of the documents checked below to a friend for safekeeping:

[__] My birth certificate

[__] My children’s birth certificates

[__] My social security card

[__] My children’s school records

[__] My children’s medical records

[__] Bank books

[__] Welfare identification

[__] My passport or green card

[__] My children’s passports or green cards

[__] Insurance papers

[__] My lease agreement or mortgage payment book

[__] Important addresses and telephone numbers

[__] Other:

[__] Other:

[__] Other:

6. The following are hidden in a safe place:

[__] An extra set of car keys

[__] Some extra money

[__] An extra change of clothes for me and my children

[__] Other:

[__] Other:

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I HOPE THIS WILL WORK

Comments

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Wonderful list

Dear Sabitri,

Thanks for this exhaustive and useful list. Continue the great work!

Love,
Pushpa

sabitrisanyal's picture

Thank you Pushpa for going

Thank you Pushpa for going through my journal.

Take care and God bless.

With Warm Regards,

Sabitri

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