Does someone you know need help?
If a friend, family member, or neighbor’s safety is in immediate danger because of domestic violence, call 911 right now.
The police will take the situation seriously. These are dangerous situations, so do not try to intervene on your own.
If that person is not in immediate danger, please call our 24-hour Crisis Line at (317) 745-1496. Your call will be answered by a trained professional who will ask questions and offer recommendations about the best ways to get help.
Domestic abuse — whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, or financial — is wrong, and it tends to get worse over time. You can best protect a victim by encouraging them to get help. If that person isn’t sure that he or she is being abused, have him or her answer these questions.
Don’t think that domestic violence only happens to someone else. You or someone you love could be a victim. Abuse usually gets worse over time, immediate help is available. If you answer “yes” to even one of these questions, you are probably in an abusive relationship. Call (317) 745-1496 for more information and advice.
- Have you changed your normal activities to avoid upsetting your partner?
- Does your partner pretend he/she is doing you a favor by staying with you? Do they tell you that no one else would like you if they did not?
- Has your partner ever hit, slapped, pushed, or kicked you even lightly?
- Do you feel controlled or intimidated by your partner? Are you afraid of your partner blowing up?
- Has your partner broken or harmed your personal belongings to get a reaction out of you?
- Does your partner insult you, call you names, make you feel stupid or unworthy?
- Does your partner withhold money, food, medicine, or transportation from you?
- Does your partner threaten to hurt or kill you, your children or friends?
- Does your partner force you to perform sexual acts?
- Does your partner threaten to harm or kill a family pet?
- Does your partner threaten to harm or kill himself/herself if you do or don’t do something?
- Has your partner injured you, your children, or others enough to require medical attention?
- Has your partner violated a protective order in the past?
- Does your partner follow or spy on you, leave threatening notes, texts or messages on your voicemail or call you when you don’t want him/her to?
- Has your partner prevented you or the children from leaving by threatening physical harm?
- Does your partner own or have access to weapons and use them to threaten you?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL?
Your call will be taken by an individual who wants to help. She will ask questions to better understand your friend’s situation, and answer any questions you have. We use what is known as a Lethality Assessment to determine the degree of abuse and danger, so we can help your friend find the specific resources he or she needs, which may include coming to our shelter.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
Encourage your friend, neighbor, or family member to develop a safety plan that will provide a way to leave home if that becomes necessary. Help that person identify places to go and people who would be able to provide safe housing. Encourage them to consider exactly how they may leave safely, perhaps by doing things that allow them to leave the house, such as walking a family pet or going to the store.
You can also encourage them to pack a bag that will allow them to leave quickly (and may even be willing to store that bag for them). Items may include:
- pay as you go cell phone
- keys to car, house, work
- a change of clothes for them and their children
- address book, with numbers of friends, relatives, doctors, lawyers
- driver’s license and car registration
- emergency medicine
- copies of important papers, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, credit cards, personal protective order, divorce papers, and custody orders.
The most important thing is to remain available. Leaving an abuser must take place when your friend is ready. Even if that takes a while, be patient. Let them know that you are always available to listen and help.