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I'm A Victim of Domestic Violence; What Should I Do?

Note: If you or your children are in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

Your abuser could be tracking your computer activity without you even knowing it. We recommend you do NOT use your personal computer to find help; instead, go somewhere you can trust to be safe, like a friend's home, a public library, or a rape crisis or domestic violence center.

Who to Call for Help

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or get live help 24/7 online at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
  • National Teen Dating Violence Hotline: 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453
  • Veterans/military: 877-995-5247 or visit their online HelpRoom at https://www.safehelpline.org/
  • Ohio prison rape/assault: 614-995-3584
  • Ohio nursing home abuse: 1-800-342-0553

How to Identify Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be confusing. Many people don't know when to ask for help because they are unsure what domestic violence even looks like. They may wonder if they are imagining the abuse.

Domestic violence can be emotional, sexual, and/or physical abuse. Threats of abuse are also a form of domestic violence. By knowing some common signs to look for, you will be able to more readily identify domestic violence. Identifying the signs is the first step. Does your partner:

  • Call you names, insult you, or put you down?
  • Prevent or discourage you from going to work, school, or seeing family members and/or friends?
  • Try to control how you spend money, where you go, what you do, what you wear, etc?
  • Act jealous or possessive or accuse you of being unfaithful?
  • Get angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs?
  • Threaten you with violence or weapons?
  • Hurt you, your children, or your pets in some way, whether it's hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, choking, etc?
  • Force you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will?
  • Blame you for his/her abusive behavior or make you believe that you deserve it?
  • Apologize for his/her violent behavior, promise to change, and offer gifts?
  • If you are lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, does your partner use your sexual orientation or gender identity to threaten you?
  • Is someone stalking you?
  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Do you feel like you're constantly watching what you say and do around your partner to avoid a blow-up?

Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If so, you may be experiencing domestic violence in your relationship. You, your children, and/or your pets may be in danger. The only way to find safety is to break the cycle. Read on to find out what you can and should do from here.

What to Do Next

  1. Start by getting the support you need. Tell someone about the abuse. This should be someone you can trust completely. This might be a friend, a loved one, or a health care provider.

Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things you will have to do. You will need as much support as you can get. Don't try to do this alone. Help is out there for you.

  1. Create a safety plan. It is important to know what you will do if and when you feel unsafe. Call a women's shelter or domestic violence hotline, like the ones listed above; they can give you advice. Make sure to call at a safe time and from a safe phone. Pack an emergency bag that has everything you'll need when you leave, such as extra clothes, keys, important documents, money, and prescription medications. Keep the bag in a safe place. Know exactly where you're going and how you'll get there so you are ready when it's time to leave.
  2. Get medical help. If you or your children have been hurt, go to the hospital or your doctor immediately. Provide the medical professionals with as much information about your injuries as you can. It is important that you have documentation of your injuries; medical records could be useful later in court and can help you get a civil protection order (CPO).
  3. Contact an attorney. Immediately after contacting a medical professional, you should call a domestic violence attorney. An attorney can help you file for a CPO. Read more about CPOs and how they can protect you here.

You need a legal professional who will fight for the safety and freedom you deserve. At King, Koligian & Associates, LLC, we are trained to defend and protect people just like you throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. We have focused our entire practice on family issues such as domestic violence. Let us protect you.

Help is here. Call today to speak with an Ohio domestic violence attorney.

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