• In the Spotlight:
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What Is Abuse??? If you think you are or know someone being abused PLEASE READ

Posted by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM
  • 23 Replies

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

Examples of abuse include:

  • name-calling or putdowns
  • keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
  • withholding money
  • stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • actual or threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • intimidation

Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.


The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs 

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems. 

If you are being abused, REMEMBER

  1. You are not alone
  2. It is not your fault
  3. Help is available

COMMON MYTHS AND WHY THEY ARE WRONG 

Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.

  • Michigan State Police records from 1997 show that a woman is killed by a partner or former partner about once a week in Michigan.
  • In 1998, the Michigan State Police reported more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence in Oakland County.

Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.

  • Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

Some people deserve to be hit.

  • No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
  • Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.

Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.

  • Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1.6 - 1.7)
  • Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 5)
  • Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 8)

Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.

  • Domestic violence affects everyone.
  • About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999)
  • In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)
  • 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996)

If it were that bad, she would just leave.

  • There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
  • Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

    MANY VICTIMS DO LEAVE AND LEAD SUCCESSFUL, VIOLENCE FREE LIVES.


Who Are The Victims?

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.

Since abuse can happen to anyone, people can have special concerns. All resources listed in this book understand your special concerns. They will listen to you and treat you with respect.

If you are a person of color ...

You may be afraid of prejudice. You may be afraid of being blamed for going out of your community for help.

If you are a lesbian, gay, or transgendered person ...

You may be afraid of having people know about your sexual orientation.

If you are physically or mentally challenged or elderly ...

You may depend on your abuser to care for you. You may not have other people to help you.

If you are a male victim of abuse ...

You may be ashamed and scared that no one will believe you.

If you are from another country ...

You may be afraid of being deported.

If your religion makes it hard to get help ...

You may feel like you have to stay and not break up the family.

If you are a teen ...

You could be a victim of abuse, or at risk if you are dating someone who:
  • is very jealous and/or spies on you
  • will not let you break off the relationship
  • hurts you in any way, is violent, or brags about hurting other people
  • puts you down or makes you feel bad
  • forces you to have sex or makes you afraid to say no to sex
  • abuses drugs or alcohol; pressures you to use drugs or alcohol
  • has a history of bad relationships and blames it on others
It is hard for teens to leave their abuser if they go to the same school. They cannot hide. Gay and lesbian teens are very isolated. They can be scared they may have to reveal their sexual orientation.

If you think you are being abused, think about getting help. If your family or friends warn you about the person you are dating, think about getting help. Tell friends, family members or anybody you can trust. Call a resource listed in this book. There is help for you. You do not have to suffer in silence.

If you are a child in a violent home ...

Most children in these homes know about the violence. Parents may think children do not know about the violence, but most of the time they do. Children often know what happened. They can feel helpless, scared and upset. They may also feel like the violence is their fault.

Violence in the home is dangerous for children. Children live with scary noises, yelling and hitting. They are afraid for their parents and themselves. Children feel bad that they cannot stop the abuse. If they try to stop the fight, they can be hurt. They can also be hurt by things that are thrown or weapons that are used. Children are harmed just by seeing and hearing the violence.

Children in violent homes may not get the care they need. A parent who is being abused may be in too much pain to take good care of their child.

Children who live in violent homes can have many problems. They can have trouble sleeping. They can have trouble in school and getting along with others. They often feel sad and scared all the time. They may grow up feeling bad about themselves. These problems do not go away on their own. They can be there even as the child gets older.

There is help for children in violent homes. Call a resource listed in this book to talk to someone. This can also help if you grew up in a violent home.

If you are being stalked ...

Stalking is repeated harassment that makes you feel scared or upset. A stalker can be someone you know or a stranger. They often bother people by giving them attention they do not want. This can be unwanted phone calls or gifts, or following people by going to where they work or live. It can also be threats to you or your family.
People may think stalking is not dangerous because no one has been physically hurt. Stalking is serious. It is against the law. It often turns to physical violence.

There is help. Find out how to get a Personal Protection Order (PPO). You can also tell the police. You can make a case by keeping track of what the stalker does by:

  • telling the police every time the stalker makes contact with you
  • keeping a book with you at all times so that you can write down the stalkers contacts
  • saving phone messages from the stalker
  • saving letters and gifts from the stalker
  • writing down information about the stalker, like the way they look, kind of car they drive and license plate number

Stalking Is A Crime

Who Are The Abusers?


Abusers are not easy to spot. There is no 'typical' abuser. In public, they may appear friendly and loving to their partner and family. They often only abuse behind closed doors. They also try to hide the abuse by causing injuries that can be hidden and do not need a doctor. 

Abuse is not an accident. It does not happen because someone was stressed-out, drinking, or using drugs. Abuse is an intentional act that one person uses in a relationship to control the other. Abusers have learned to abuse so that they can get what they want. The abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological. 

Abusers often have low self-esteem. They do not take responsibility for their actions. They may even blame the victim for causing the violence. In most cases, men abuse female victims. It is important to remember that women can also be abusers and men can be victims.

What is Abuse? - A Warning List


Many people who are being abused do not see themselves as victims. Also, abusers do not see themselves as being abusive. People often think of domestic violence as physical violence, such as hitting. However, domestic violence takes other forms, such as psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Domestic violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person. It can happen to people who are married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating.

If your partner repeatedly uses one or more of the following to control you;

  • pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking, or biting
  • threatening you, your children, other family members or pets
  • threatening suicide to get you to do something
  • using or threatening to use a weapon against you
  • keeping or taking your paycheck

The Violence Wheel

PhyVio.jpg


Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Cycle of Violence


arrow_top.jpg

Incident

  • Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)

Tension Building

  • Abuser starts to get angry
  • Abuse may begin
  • There is a breakdown of communication
  • Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
  • Tension becomes too much
  • Victim feels like they are 'walking on egg shells'

Making-Up

  • Abuser may apologize for abuse
  • Abuser may promise it will never happen again
  • Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
  • Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims

Calm

  • Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
  • Physical abuse may not be taking place
  • Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
  • Victim may hope that the abuse is over
  • Abuser may give gifts to victim
arrow_bottom.jpg


The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. 

It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the 'making-up' and 'calm' stages disappear. 

What Can I Do To Be Safe?

 
Call the police

If you feel you are in danger from your abuser at any time, you can call 911 or your local police. 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.

Consider the following:

  • If you are in danger when the police come, they can protect you.
  • They can help you and your children leave your home safely.
  • They can arrest your abuser when they have enough proof that you have been abused.
  • They can arrest your abuser if a personal protection order (PPO) has been violated.
  • When the police come, tell them everything the abuser did that made you call.
  • If you have been hit, tell the police where. Tell them how many times it happened. Show them any marks left on your body. Marks may take time to show up. If you see a mark after the police leave, call the police to take pictures of the marks. They may be used in court.
  • If your abuser has broken any property, show the police.
  • The police can give you information on domestic violence programs and shelters.
  • The police must make a report saying what happened to you. Police reports can be used in court if your abuser is charged with a crime.
  • Get the officers' names, badge numbers, and the report number in case you need a copy of the report.
  • A police report can be used to help you get a PPO.

Get support from friends and family

Tell your supportive family, friends and co-workers what has happened.

Find a safe place

It is not fair. You should not have to leave your home because of what your abuser has done. But sometimes it is the only way you will be safe. There are shelters that can help you move to a different city or state. HAVEN can put you in touch with them.

Get medical help

If you have been hurt, go to the hospital or your doctor. Domestic violence advocates (people to help you) may be called to the hospital. They are there to give you support. You may ask medical staff to call one for you.
Medical records can be important in court cases. They can also help you get a PPO. Give all the information about your injuries and who hurt you that you feel safe to give.
Special medical concerns
  • Sometimes you may not even know you are hurt.
  • What seems like a small injury could be a big one.
  • If you are pregnant and you were hit in your stomach, tell the doctor. Many abusers hurt unborn children.
  • Domestic violence victims can be in danger of closed head injuries. This is because their abusers often hit them in the head. If any of these things happen after a hit to the head, get medical care right away.
Memory loss 
Dizziness 
Problems with eyesight 
Throwing-up 
Headache that will not go away

Get a personal protection order

Make a safety plan

Plan what to do before or when you feel unsafe.


Personalized Safety Plan

 
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. 

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. 

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.


ITEMS TO TAKE, IF POSSIBLE
 Children (if it is safe)
 Money
 Keys to car, house, work
 Extra clothes 
 Medicine
 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. 

Questions About Leaving


Many victims of domestic violence ask these questions about leaving.

Can I take my children with me when I leave?

  • Yes. If you can do it safely, definitely take your children with you. It may be more difficult later.
  • Get legal custody of them within a few days. This is very important. Many of the groups listed in this book may help you find assistance.
  • If you do not have your children with you, it may be difficult filing for temporary custody of your children. The parent who has physical possession of the children may have an advantage getting temporary custody.
  • Your partner may try to kidnap, threaten or harm the children in order to get you to return.
  • If you are in immediate danger and cannot take your children, contact the police immediately to arrange for temporary protective custody. (This does not mean you will lose custody. Permanent custody will be decided later by a judge.)

Where do I go?

  • Stay with a friend or relatives.
  • If you are a woman, do not stay with a man unless he is a relative. (Living with a man you are not married to could hurt your chances of getting custody of your children and spousal support. It could also cause conflict with your abuser.)
  • Go to a battered women’s shelter with your children. The staff there can help you get legal and financial help as well as provide counseling and emotional support for you and your children.
  • Or call 911 because it is a good start.

Your life and your safety are most important. Trying to bring your children with you is important. Everything else is secondary.


Personal Protection Orders - PPO's

 
What is a Personal Protection Order?

A personal protection order, or PPO, is an order issued by the Circuit Court. It can protect you from being hit, threatened, harassed, or stalked by another person. The PPO may also stop someone from coming into your home or bothering you at work. It can stop them from buying a firearm or finding your address through school records. It can also stop them from taking your minor children unless required by the court.

Where can I get a PPO?
You can get the forms at the Courthouse

Who can get a PPO?

  • Anyone who has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or threatened by someone they have been married to, lived with, have a child with, or dated. Some examples may include: a current or former spouse, family member, partner, other parent of your child, current or former roommate, or current or former person you have dated.
  • Anyone who has been stalked. Stalking is repeated harassment that makes you feel scared or upset. A stalker can be someone you know or a stranger. They often bother people by giving them attention they do not want. This can be unwanted phone calls or gifts, or following people by going to where they work or live. It can also be threats to you or your family.

What should I bring?

  • A letter telling the court what has been going on. Make sure to tell them everything. Include dates and details the best you can.
  • Police reports, medical records, photographs, or witnesses if you can get them.
  • Any information about the abuser - current address, date of birth or age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, address, Social Security number, or driver's license number.
  • Any court papers you have if you can get them. For example, custody and/or parenting time orders, lease agreement, divorce papers, or criminal case records.

What should I expect when I get there?

  1. There is no cost to file a PPO.
  2. It may take up to a half day to have a judge review your request. 
  3. The Juvenile Intake Office has the PPO forms. They will direct you to thePPO Assistance Office where staff can help you fill out the forms.
  4. If there is any information you would like to be kept private, such as your address, do not include it when filling out your forms. Ask the Court Clerk for a confidential address form.
  5. Once you complete the forms, a Deputy Clerk in the County Clerk's Office will look them over and give you a judge and a case number. They will ask you about any other cases either of you may have.
  6. You will then meet with a referee (attorney). They will review your forms, ask you questions, and report to the judge.
  7. You will then go to the judge's office to meet with the judge's clerk. The judge and/or clerk may ask you more questions. The judge will review your request and either sign your order, set it for a hearing, or deny it.
  8. Take the paperwork to the Clerk's Office on the ground floor for filing. If the judge has signed the order, the County Clerk will give you copies of the order. The order will be put into a computer system that lets the police know there is a PPO.
  9. If a hearing has been set, the Clerk will explain how to 'serve' the paperwork.
  10. The PPO is in effect as soon as the judge signs it. The court may have problems enforcing the PPO if the abuser has not been served. The abuser must be served with copies of everything you file with the Clerk's Office. The PPO Assistance Office can explain this to you.
  11. You must file a Proof of Service form with the Clerk's Office. The court may have problems enforcing the PPO if Proof of Service is not in the court file.
  12. You do not have to let the abuser in your home because a court order says he/she can see the children. You can make other plans, such as having a friend or family member pick up and drop off the children. Or you can also meet at a police station or other public place. You may also ask for supervised parenting time through the court when you file your PPO.
  13. If you want your PPO removed, you must return to the courthouse where the PPO was given. You cannot change or remove the PPO by saying you no longer want the PPO. Only the court can change or remove a PPO. The abuser can be arrested for violating the PPO until it expires or until the court removes the order. An abuser violates the order if he does something the PPO does not allow. Do not agree to anything the PPO restricts, or invite the abuser to violate the PPO until the PPO expires or the court changes the PPO.
  14. CARRY A COPY OF YOUR PPO WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!! This will help police enforce the PPO if there is a violation. 

Remember, while PPOs do work, it is important to be careful and have a safety plan 





Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


GirlWSemiAuto
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM
1 mom liked this
Bump! I now have a stable, healthy, happy life, free from abuse because I got out. There is life after abuse.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Sassy762
by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

                             Betty Boop Lets go to the disco.    Betty Jean Newell Smith

mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

thanks for the bump!

im glad you got out!

Quoting GirlWSemiAuto:

Bump! I now have a stable, healthy, happy life, free from abuse because I got out. There is life after abuse.


mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

lol

Quoting Sassy762:


donnag013
by Platinum Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

And don't forget to seek out support fromt he forum on CM just for us survivors. http://www.cafemom.com/group/758

GirlWSemiAuto
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Me too! Life is pretty good. :-P I wish for the same for anyone else contemplating getting out.

Quoting mommysangelface:

thanks for the bump!

im glad you got out!

Quoting GirlWSemiAuto:

Bump! I now have a stable, healthy, happy life, free from abuse because I got out. There is life after abuse.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM

yup i have a group for that

Quoting donnag013:

And don't forget to seek out support fromt he forum on CM just for us survivors. http://www.cafemom.com/group/758


Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM

thats awesome hun! i do as well

Quoting GirlWSemiAuto:

Me too! Life is pretty good. :-P I wish for the same for anyone else contemplating getting out.

Quoting mommysangelface:

thanks for the bump!

im glad you got out!

Quoting GirlWSemiAuto:

Bump! I now have a stable, healthy, happy life, free from abuse because I got out. There is life after abuse.



Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM
You know the animals are being abused, yet you still go to the circus!!!!
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)