If the person you are involved with acts controlling, aggressive, coercive or violent, that’s abuse. Relationships can be abusive even if there is not hitting: abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, sexual or a combination of these.
CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR MAY INCLUDE:
- Not letting you hang out with your friends
- Calling you or texting you frequently to find out where you are, whom you are with and what you are doing
- Telling you what to wear
- Having to be with you all the time
VERBAL OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE MAY INCLUDE:
- Calling you names
- Belittling you
- Threatening to hurt you, someone in your family or himself or herself, if you don’t do what he or she wants
PHYSICAL ABUSE MAY INCLUDE:
- Hair pulling
SEXUAL ABUSE MAY INCLUDE:
- Unwanted touching and kissing
- Forcing you to have sex
- Forcing you to do other sexual things
If you are experiencing this, you are in an abusive relationship. There is help.
Being a victim of domestic violence is not your fault. Nothing you say, wear or do gives anyone the right to hurt you.
THINGS YOU CAN DO:
Think about ways you can be safer. This means planning ahead.
- Where can you go for help?
- Who can you call?
- Who will help you?
- How will you escape a violent situation?
OTHER PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
- Let friends or family know that you are afraid or need help.
- When you go out, say where you are going and when you will be back.
- In an emergency, call 911 or your local police department.
- Memorize important phone numbers, such as people to contact or places to go in an emergency.
- Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy for immediate access to communication.
- Go out in a group or with other couples.
- Have money available for transportation if you need to take a taxi, bus or subway to escape.
- Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger. If you feel unsafe, you probably are.
- Take threats seriously. Danger is often highest when the abuser talks about suicide or murder or when the victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
IF YOU ARE BEING ABUSED, YOU MIGHT ..
- Believe it’s your fault.
- Feel angry, sad, depressed or confused.
- Feel helpless to stop the abuse.
- Feel threatened, humiliated or ashamed.
- Feel anxious, trapped or lonely.
- Worry about what might happen next.
- Feel like you can’t talk to family or friends.
- Be afraid of getting hurt.
- Feel protective of your spouse.
- Feel bad about yourself because the abuser says you are stupid, lazy, ugly, worthless, crazy or something similar.
THESE ARE NORMAL REACTIONS TO BEING ABUSED. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IF BEING ABUSED, YOU CAN HELP.
- Listen. Show support. Don’t blame the victim. Tell your friend you are worried for them. Ask how you can help.
- Encourage your friend to seek help.
- Avoid confronting the abuser. It could be dangerous.
- Instead of deciding what is best for your friend, help them make their own decisions.
- Find someone you can talk to about your feelings.
THERE IS HELP!
- House of Grace
662.342.1432 – 24 Hour Emergency Line
- Survival, Inc.
1.888.915.7788 – 24 Hour Line
- www.loveisrespect.org, 866.331.9474
- National Center for Victims of Crime. 800.FYI.CALL, www.ncvc.org
- National Youth Crisis Line, 800.448.4663
- Stay Safe Hotline, 1.866.960.6472.
If you are in immediate danger, CALL 911
ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM
If you move to a new location to escape domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking, the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) can help keep your new address confidential. When you sign up for ACP, your first-class mail is sent to a secure substitute address and then forwarded to your new home. You can also use the substitute address for a variety of state and local government requirements, such as:
- Getting a Mississippi driver license
- Registering to vote
- Enrolling your children in public schools
The ACP is free. To apply:
Contact ACP at 800.829.6766 or 601.359.6766 for the name of a Domestic Violence Shelter or Rape Crisis Center near you or go to www.agjimhood.com.
- Call the Domestic Violence Shelter or Rape Crisis Center and meet with the ACP Certified Application Assistant.
- Develop an overall safety plan.
- Discuss ACP guidelines and complete an application.
- Submit your application to the ACP.
Upon arrival, you will receive your ACP authorization card and you can begin using your substitute address.