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If you or someone you love is suffering from domestic violence, get help today and change your tomorrow. We're here for you anytime.

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VICTIM

Are you in danger?

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Is someone you know being hurt?

OFFENDER

Stop hurting the ones you love.

What is domestic violence?

(2)Domestic violence is when one person in a relationship purposely hurts another person physically or emotionally. People of all races, education levels and ages experience domestic abuse. In the United States, more than 5 million women are abused by an intimate partner each year.

Domestic violence is about power and control, not love and respect. It’s about manipulation, intimidation and isolation. The abuse can take many forms, including emotional, physical, financial, sexual and using children.

(3)If you are experiencing any of the following forms of abuse, get help now:

  • Physical Abuse: hitting, shoving, kicking, biting or throwing things.
  • Emotional Abuse: yelling, controlling what you do or threatening to cause serious problems for you.
  • Sexual Abuse: forcing you to do something sexual you don't want to do.
  • Stalking: repeated, unwanted phone calls or texts, spying or making physical threats.
One in three women and One in four men are victims of domestic violence
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and 1 in 4 men (25%) have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking during their lifetime. http://www.domesticabusecenter.net/about-domestic-violenceipv/

(4)Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Your partner:

  • Acts as if he or she owns you by saying things like, "I can’t live without you" or "You are my whole world."
  • Puts you down and calls you names – "You’re stupid" or "You’re not good enough" or "You could never do that."
  • Isolates you and doesn't let you see your family or friends.
  • Always needs to know where you are and who you are with.
  • Criticizes what you look like and what you wear.
  • Has sudden mood swings and shows two different personalities: charming in public and aggressive in private.
  • Cuts off your access to money or won't let you get a job.
  • Treats you like a servant and controls you with looks and gestures.
  • Makes you feel guilty — "It's all your fault" or "You caused this to happen" or "I'll kill myself or hurt someone else if you leave."
  • Threatens to hurt you, kill you, leave you, or take away your kids, car, money or phone.
  • Tells you, "no one will believe you".
  • Forces you to do sexual acts against your will.
  • Accuses you of having affairs.
  • Blames everyone but themselves for their problems.
  • Uses drugs or alcohol as an excuse for their behavior.

You:

  • Worry your partner will be jealous or suspicious.
  • Always try to please them.
  • Apologize frequently for their behavior.
  • Change your clothing, hair, or makeup to please them.
  • Stop going to social activities.
Sad Woman

(1)How Safe Are You?

Plan now on where you can go if you don't feel safe.

If any of the following are true, your situation may be more dangerous:
  • Has the violence been getting worse, more often or scarier lately?
  • Has your partner ever choked or injured you while you were pregnant?
  • Has your partner ever injured someone outside the home?
  • Has your partner ever injured a pet or destroyed items you care about?
  • Does your partner have an alcohol or drug abuse problem?
  • Is there a gun in the house?
  • Are the children in danger?
  • Does your partner know you are planning to leave?
  • Has your partner threatened to kill you or him/herself?

Pack for Safety

Pack a bag with the following items and hide it, or give it to someone you trust:

  • Clothes
  • Money
    • Cash, credit and ATM cards
    • Checkbook, bank account numbers and pay stubs
  • Keys (house, car, office, safety deposit box)
  • Medications and glasses
  • Phone, phone calling card, phone/address book
  • Toiletries and diapers
  • Pictures, keepsakes, toys and books

Increase Safety at Home

  • Avoid the kitchen and the bathroom.
  • Remove or disable guns/weapons from your home.
  • Put a phone in a room you can lock.
  • Plan an escape route.
  • Tell someone — make a signal with neighbors to call the police.

Increase Safety for Your Children

  • Teach them to call for help and teach them their address and phone number.
  • Make a code word for them to call 911.
  • Plan an escape route.
  • Teach them to not get in the middle of a fight.

Bring or Make Copies of Important Papers

  • Birth certificates, social security cards, immigration papers
  • Driver's license/picture ID
  • Marriage/divorce/custody papers or restraining orders
  • Titles, deeds, or car registration
  • Rent receipts
  • Health insurance cards/important medical records
  • School records/immunization (shot) records
  • Journals/photos of abuse
  • Photos of abuser to give to schools, office security, etc….

Share. Care. Be There.

Is someone you know being hurt?

It is important to remember that you cannot rescue a friend or loved one from an abusive relationship — they have to help themselves. Listen without judging and support them no matter what, because it may take many conversations before your loved one decides to leave or make a change. In the meantime, continue to make the time to listen, offer help and build their confidence.

If someone you care about is being abused, remember that victims still love their partners and hope that they will change. They may feel too embarrassed to leave, because of their place in the community or because they have the same friends. And they may stay out of fear of what might happen, as abusers often retaliate at an escalated level.

Positive State

Share.

Become someone the victim can trust and share their experience with. Talk to them, have an open conversation and allow them to feel comfortable confiding in you. Listen to what they have to say without passing any judgment.

Care.

Compliment the victim, boost their confidence and remind them how much you care about their well-being. Make it known that you are a trusted resource who isn't going to confront their abuser, disrupt their personal life or talk to others about it. You are someone they can count on to talk, listen and protect them if necessary.

Be There.

Be there to help them plan their exit strategy from the relationship. Be there to support them after they've broken the cycle and left the abuser for good. And be there to comfort them in any way that makes that transition easier, whether it's somewhere to sleep, picking up the children or cooking dinner. Make sure they know that they are not alone to deal with the fallout of leaving an abusive relationship.

(5)When Offering Support, DO:

  • Let them know the abuse is not their fault and they are not alone. The behavior was their abuser's choice, not theirs.
  • Tell them it is normal to feel upset, depressed, confused and scared when you are being abused.
  • Help them understand that abuse is not normal, but it happens a lot and to all kinds of people.
  • Give them compliments — I think you are smart, strong and brave, and I think you can make a change.
  • Offer help. Ask what you can do to support them, whether it's creating a safety plan, figuring out where to stay, contacting an attorney or finding a support group.

(5)When Offering Support, DON'T:

  • Criticize them, make judgments, get angry or make them feel guilty for staying or going back. They have to make a change on their own time.
  • Make ultimatums or put them in a position to have to defend their abuser. Remember that they love or loved this person for a reason. It is not your place to bad-mouth the abuser — the victim may resent you for this.
  • Bring up the abuse when the abuser is nearby or confront the abuser yourself. You don't want to betray the victim's confidence or trust in you.
  • Do not give advice. Help them explore their own feelings, discover their own opinions and make their own decisions. The abuser tries to control them, not you.

Workplace Resources

Educate. Advocate. Lead.

Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, meaning workers of every profession may be interacting with a victim on a daily basis without realizing it. (6) On average, a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before leaving for good. Some victims may cry out for help while others only give subtle hints, so it’s important you’re aware of the potential warning signs of abuse and prepared to offer the necessary help.

Resources are available to assist professionals in helping patients, clients or employees involved in a domestic violence situation. Numerous professional boards are joining the effort to increase both training and education for domestic violence. For more information, please contact the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Click here for advice and resources in the following professions:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Social Workers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Counselors and Therapists
  • Human Resource Directors
  • Small Business Owners

As a professional, you can offer these victims a unique opportunity to reach out for help in a safe and confidential setting. Take advantage of this opportunity to help make South Carolina a safer place.

Stop hurting the ones you love.

When you hurt the ones you love physically, mentally or emotionally, you're also hurting yourself. If you are abusing someone and need help breaking the cycle, we're here to help you. South Carolina is your Safe Place too.

If you think you may be an offender of domestic violence, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you worried that your partner or children may not be safe because of your behavior?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with your partner or children? What kind of relationship do you want to have with them?
  • Are you able to control your behavior?
  • What do you think you do well as a spouse or parent? What do you think needs improvement?
  • Do you think your spouse or children feel unsafe around you?
  • Are you interested in getting help?

Please seek professional help today.

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