Stop Violence Against Women. Break The Cycle

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•An abusive relationship can break a woman down and unravel her sense of reality and self-esteem.

Breaking the cycle of domestic violence may be difficult, but possible with help. Without help, the abuse will likely continue, and sometimes leaving the abusive relationship may be the only way to break the cycle.

The sooner you take action the better.

In the United States there are a number of government and private agencies that provide resources and support to women who are abused and their children.

These resources include 24-hour telephone hot lines, shelters, counseling and legal services.

Many of these services are free and can provide immediate assistance.

Look in your telephone book or dial information and the police department in your area. In Haiti you will have to contact family members and friends for assistance.

Leaving an abuser can be dangerous.

You're the only one who knows the safest time to leave.

Consider taking these precautions: Arrange a safety signal with a neighbor as an alert to call the police if necessary.

•Prepare an emergency bag that includes items you'll need when you leave, such as extra clothes, important papers, money, extra keys and prescription medications.

•Know exactly where you'll go and how you'll get there, even if you have to leave in the middle of the night.

•Call a local women's shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 to find out about legal options and resources available to you, before you need them.
•If you have school-age children, notify the school authorities or school counselor about custody arrangements and warn them about possible threats.

Keep your communication private
•Avoid making long-distance phone calls from home. Be cautious when using a cell phone.

Your abuser may be able to intercept conversations using a scanner.

Be aware of controlling use of your cell phone.

Your abuser may use frequent cell phone conversations or text messages as a way to monitor and control your activities and also check your cell phone to see who has called or check your messages.

Access a computer at a friend's house or at the library.

A Web-based e-mail service is safer.

Most of these services such Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail offer free e-mail accounts.

Store files on the Internet.

You can store files online and access them from any computer.

You can also store documents as attachments in e-mail programs.

Change your password often.

Clear your Web-browser history.

You can also use a program such as AbsoluteShield Internet Eraser or Speed Tracks Eraser to clear your Internet records..

Lionne Club, January 23 2008, 2:06 PM

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