The Women’s Contact Society would like women in Williams Lake and area communities who are being abused to know that they are not alone.
Help is available by calling the Women’s Contact Society at 250-392-4118; the Crisis Line at 250-398-8224; or the transition house at 250-398-5658.
• If you have been threatened with harm or death, or are being stalked, (followed and harassed) by your partner or ex-partner, you can call the police. Dial 911 or, if you are in a rural area, find out the emergency number.
• Call police if you have been assaulted. Charging abusive males is a necessary step in reducing physical violence.
• Shelters do accept women who are emotionally abused and have not been physically abused. The help line can refer you to the nearest shelter.
• Abused women are at the greatest risk of being harmed or killed when they leave. Ensure that you have a safety plan in place.
• Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence. Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where he won’t find it.
• If you are considering leaving, especially if you have children, see a lawyer.
• Realize that emotional abuse is a serious problem and is as bad or worse than physical abuse.
• Know that emotional abuse can lead to physical violence or death.
Abusive relationships are about power and control over the victim.
In the early stages of an abusive relationship, the abuse may not yet be seriously violent.
Instead the abusive partner may exercise power and control through types of abuse such as possessive behaviour, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, and low-level violence like pushing or pulling hair.
Remember that there is no excuse for abuse.
If you think your relationship has the potential to become abusive or is abusive, keep your safety in mind.
Remember that even though you cannot change your partner, you can make changes in your own life to stay safe.
Consider leaving your partner before the abuse gets worse. Without intervention, his violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.
Whether you decide to leave or stay, make sure you have a safety plan in place. Whatever you choose, look for support so that you are not alone in this difficult time.
A safety plan is a personalized and practical plan for reducing your risk of being hurt by your partner.
Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is everyone’s human right to live without fear.
An effective safety plan makes changes to your daily lifestyle to better protect you at your home, school, work, and within the community.
These changes may include going to a confidential shelter, changing schools, changing your e-mail, phone number, route to work, and getting your teachers and school counsellors involved with protection issues at school.
Your safety plan will also help you to escape a violent incident safely and prepare you to end your relationship when you are ready.
When preparing your safety plan ask yourself these important questions.
What can I do to stay safe at home?
How do I get safely to work or school?
Is there a safe place I can go when abuse happens?
Creating a safety plan can be difficult on your own.
Find someone you trust or someone within community resources to assist you if possible.
Memorize emergency numbers. Keep spare house and car keys handy. Know where you can stay in an emergency.
Consider going for counselling.
Do not give up if community professionals are not helpful.
Keep looking for someone that will listen to you and take emotional abuse seriously.