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Resources for Lesbians, Bisexuals or any Domestic Violence Survivor

Are you a victim of domestic violence? Do you have a friend who is? What can you do if you are a victim of domestic violence? Here are some steps to take if you or someone you know is the victim of spousal abuse or domestic violence.

1. Call the police.

If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911. Many police agencies are now trained to deal with domestic violence situations. Many cities even have volunteer liaisons for victims of domestic violence and rape. Inquire about getting a restraining order.

2. Talk to someone you trust.

Tell a close friend or family member what is going on in your relationship. You can ask this person to help you make a safety plan or help you find services.

3. Talk to a counselor.

Try to find a counselor who has experience with domestic violence, and better yet, gay and lesbian issues.

4. Make a Safety Plan.

  Find a place you can go to if you need to leave quickly—a friend’s house, family member, hotel or domestic violence shelter.

  Have an idea of how you will get out of the home (a window, fire escape, etc.)

  Try to stash some money away that your partner cannot have access to. Open your own bank account or have a trusted friend hold some of your money.

  Plan how you will get away. Drive? Bus? Taxi?

  Have a bag ready with important documents, like your I.D., credit cards, insurance cards, medicine, bank info, passport, any legal documents, like restraining order and medical records.

  Have a bag packed for your children as well. You may want to stash these with a trusted friend.

  Arrange with a friend to have an “emergency phrase” that your partner will not recognize. For example, set in up in advance that if you ask, “How’s your dog,” that your friend will know to call the police.

  Sometimes domestic violence shelters are full, so have a safe back up plan.


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Created By: Kathy Belge, "Your Guide to Lesbian Life"