Education

Domestic Violence-The Facts

Domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, socio-economic status, or other factors.

As you are reading this, keep in mind...MOST family violence cases are NEVER reported.

75% of all Texans report that they would be likely to call the police if they were to experience some form of domestic violence. Yet only 20% indicated that they actually did call the police when they or a family member experienced domestic violence.

38% of Texas women, over one in three, have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime.Family violence represents a serious, preventable public health problem affecting

            more than 25 million American women.

In Texas, for calendar year 2010, 142 women were killed by their husband or ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.The number of women murdered increased, from 111 in 2009 to 142 in 2010.

            This may be attributed to several factors, including increased reporting by law

            enforcement or simply an increase in homicides for this year.

Murder-suicide cases increased from 42 occurrences in 2009 to 56 occurrences in 2010.Three 17 year old high school students were murdered in 2010.

Five pregnant women were murdered. 

(TCFV.org)

 

Sexual Assault-The Facts

 

As you are reading this, keep in mind...MOST sexual assault cases are NEVER reported.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone.  Sexual violence is not about sex, the act is about power and control. 

In 2005, only 38.3% of rape/sexual assaults were reported to police – the violent crime least often reported to law enforcement.88 percent of child sexual abuse is never reported to the authorities

 

Almost 13 percent of Texans have been sexually assaulted. That equates to nearly 2 million people, or 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men.In the United States, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives60.4% of female and 69.2% of male victims were first raped before age 18.25.5% of females were first raped before age 12, and 34.9% were first raped between the ages of 12-17.41.0% of males were first raped before age 12, and 27.9% were first raped between the ages of 12-17

Survivors may experience some of the following responses:

Fear responses to reminders of the assaultPervading sense of anxiety, wondering if it's possible to ever feel safe againRe-experiencing assault over and over again through flashbacksProblems concentrating and staying focused on the task at handGuilty feelingsDeveloping a negative self-image, feeling "dirty" inside or outDepressionDisruptions in close relationshipsLoss of interest in sex

Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS), first identified by Ann Burgess and Lynda Holmstrom, describes the physical, emotional and mental responses that sexual assault victims experience as a result of the extreme fear and stress of victimization and is a form of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a normal human reaction to an extreme or abnormal situation. Each person has a different threshold for what is perceived as a traumatic event. PTSD is not a rare or unusual occurrence, in fact, many people experience PTSD as a result of a traumatic experience such as rape or sexual assault.

It is normal for family and friends to feel confused, upset and angry and have many of the same responses the survivor may experience. At a time when you want most to help the survivor through this crisis, you will be dealing with a crisis of your own.  You may have some of the following responses:

Wishing that the survivor could have prevented itFinding it difficult to listen when the sur­vivor needs to talkTrying to "make" the survivor talk when she/he is not readyBeing tempted to make decisions for the survivorBeing over-pro­tectiveTrying to hide the assault from others or telling others about the assault without the survivor's permissionTrying to resolve the crisis quickly, to "fix it"

Other people may not understand the importance of the survivor's making her/his own decisions and regaining control over her/his life. Not understanding the reality of sexual assault can make the crisis more difficult for you and the sur­vivor.

Supporting a Sexual Assault Victim

Victims of sexual assault need someone who can hear what they say without blame or judgment: listen and believe.

Sexual assault survivors temporarily lost every ounce of power and control. They regain that power by making decisions for themselves.

(taasa.org)

Effects on Children

Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children.Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear.Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent.Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.Statistics show that over 3 million children witness violence in their home each year. Those who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally.

 

Emotional

Grief for family and personal losses.Shame, guilt, and self blame.Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents.Fear of abandonment, or expressing emotions, the unknown or personal injury.Anger.Depression and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.Embarrassment.

Behavioral

Acting out or withdrawing.Aggressive or passive.Refusing to go to school.Care taking; acting as a parent substitute.Lying to avoid confrontation.Rigid defenses.Excessive attention seeking.Bedwetting and nightmares.Out of control behavior.Reduced intellectual competency.Manipulation, dependency, mood swings.

Social

Isolation from friends and relatives.Stormy relationships.Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.Poor anger management and problem solving skills.Excessive social involvement to avoid home.Passivity with peers or bullying.Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.

Physical

Somatic complaints, headaches and stomachaches.Nervous, anxious, short attention span.Tired and lethargic.Frequently ill.Poor personal hygiene.Regression in development.High risk play.Self abuse

(acadv.org)

 
Safety Planning
Adult Safety Plan

                PERSONAL SAFETY PLAN

WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WHEN YOU LEAVE

Identification

Driver's LicenseChildren's Birth CertificatesYour Birth CertificateSocial Security CardsWelfare IdentificationFinancialMoney and/or credit cardsBank booksCheckbooks

Legal papers

YOUR PROTECTIVE ORDER
(Keep this with you at all times)Lease, rental agreement, house deedCar registration and insurance papersHealth and life insurance papersMedical records for you and your childrenSchool recordsWork permits/Green card/VISAPassportDivorce & custody papers/marriage license

Other

House and car keysMedicationsJewelryAddress BookPictures of you, your children, and your abuserChildren's toys, toiletries, and diapersChange of clothes for you and your children

Why is a Safety Plan Necessary?
Once a violent act occurs in a relationship, the violence almost always reoccurs. In fact, the violence tends to occur more frequently and will most likely increase in severity. This happens even though the abuser is likely to apologize and will promise to change.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you have a plan and think ahead about what should be done in case of an attack, or repeated attacks from your abuser upon you or your children.
Although some abusers do not give any indications or signals prior to an abusive incident, you may be able to predict an attack by your abuser's behavior.
For example, a certain look, a certain phrase that is said, certain times of the month or year, or when discussing various subjects which could provoke anger, are some things to look for.
In many cases, victims of domestic violence contemplate leaving their abusers several times before finally taking action. There are some practical steps which you can use to help keep you and your children safe.

Safety With a Protective Order
If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted you can request a protective order from your County Attorney's Office.  You may contact the Victim's Assistance Coordinator for Johnson County by calling: 817-556-6330

If granted, a Protective Order is enforceable by law enforcement.  Any violations can be considered of a criminal nature.  A Restraining Order is a civil document, not enforceable by officers. 
Keep your protective order on you at all times.
Give a copy of the order to your child's school.
Call the police if your partner breaks the order.

Safety During an Explosive Incident
If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area where you have access to an exit. Try to stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else where weapons might be available.
Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best. Practice these safety measures with your kids.
Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don't think you will need to.)
Use your instincts and judgments. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.

Safety In Your Own Home
Change the locks on your door as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
Discuss a Safety Plan with your children.
Inform your children's school, daycare, etc. about who has permission to pick up your children.
Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.
Designate a "safe meeting place" with your children.

Safety when Preparing to Leave
If possible, open a savings account and/or credit card in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence.
Get your own post office box or have information mailed to a safe address. You can privately receive checks and letters to begin your independence.
Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines, and clothes with someone you trust or in a safe place so you can leave quickly.
Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand at all times for emergency phone calls, or memorize the number.
Review and update your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer.
Think of other ways to increase independence
Remember: Leaving your abuser is the most dangerous time!

Safety in the workplace:

If you feel comfortable, tell your boss and coworkers. Your office may set up a safety policy.Post your protection order.Tell your co-workers to call the police if they see your batterer at the workplace.Show them his picture.Ask coworkers not to tell where you are if your batterer comes to the workplace or calls.Ask someone to screen your calls.Keep your office door locked if you can.Plan an escape route if your partner comes to work.Work when other people are there, never alone.Vary your route and the times you go to work.

Safety in the Community

Vary or change any routine your partner may be familiar with. Change groceries, banks, day care.Go out during the busiest times.Have people you trust walk you to and from your car.Take someone with you.Carry a whistle.Take a self defense class.Program the police, crisis line or friend on your cell phone. Keep it with you at all times.

 

Child Safety Plan

My Safety Plan

When I get scared I can think about
__________________________________________________________________

When I get scared I can go to
__________________________________________________________________

When I am feeling down or afraid I can talk to
__________________________________________________________________

These are the safe exits from my house
__________________________________________________________________

In an emergency I can
__________________________________________________________________

My Important Numbers

My phone number _______________________________

The police _______________________________

A neighbor, friend or relative's number _______________________________

 

EMERGENCY CONTACT

911

Or

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Family Crisis Center 24-Hour Hotline:

1-800-848-3206 or 817-641-2332

 
Helping a Friend or Family Member

Helping a Friend/Family Member

If you think your friend or family member is in a violent relationship, but you aren't sure--go with your instincts. You probably wouldn't be concerned without reason. Follow these tips and talk with them about your concerns. Remember that our hotline is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 1-800-848-3206 or 817-641-2332.

When you know someone in an abusive relationship:

What Can You Do?

Listen without judging. Victims often feel responsible, ashamed, inadequate, and afraid.Make sure she knows she is not alone.Explain that relationship abuse is a crime. She can seek protection from the police, courts, and domestic violence programs.Suggest she develop a safety plan.  See attached safety planning information. Think of ways you can help. If the victim decides to leave, they may need money, assistance finding a place to live, a place to store her belongings, or help finding a safe home for her pets.Contact our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-848-3206. If you need advice on how to help your   friend or family member in an abusive relationship, the Family Crisis Center can help. We offer secondary services for friends and relatives of victims of abuse.

In many cases, victims fear for their lives. They may want their children to grow up with both parents, or feel guilty believing that the abuse is their fault. Sometimes a victim's self-esteem is so damaged by the abuse that they think they cannot make it on their own. Or, she may just want the violence to end, not the relationship.

 

What if she decides to leave the relationship?

Decide how you can help. Can you loan money? Offer them a place to store their belongings? Help find a safe place for them to live?Help develop a safety strategy. Encourage them to set aside money, gather and store important documents, and develop a plan of escape.Contact the Family Crisis Center or another program for assistance.

What if you see an assault in progress?

Call 911.Write down all the information you can remember, including any license plate numbers and the location of the assault.Contact the Family Crisis Center or other program for assistance.Be sure to keep yourself safe.If you see an assault in progress, do something about it. Don't assume that someone else has already taken care of it.

Resources/Helpful Websites

Find us on Facebook

www.facebook.com/

 

Texas Council on Family Violence

www.tcfv.org

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

www.taasa.org

 

Johnson County Attorney's Office (Protective Orders)

http://www.johnsoncountytx.org/departments/countyattorney/

 

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

www.rainn.org

 

Texas Advocacy Project (Legal Assistance)

http://www.texasadvocacyproject.org/

 

Attorney General of Texas (Crime Victims Compensation-Child Support)

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/

 

Johnson County Children's Advocacy Center

www.childadvocacycenter-jc.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 
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