Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. It can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender or income level.
Abuse between intimate partners can take many forms and may include:
- Emotional or verbal abuse
- Denial of access to resources or money
- Restraint of normal activities or freedom (including isolation from friends and family)
- Sexual coercion or assault
- Threats to kill or harm
- Physical intimidation or attacks
- In extreme cases, domestic violence can result in the death of a partner
Does your partner:
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Act jealous and possessive?
- Try to isolate you from your family and friends?
- Throw, push, hit, choke, kick or slap you?
- Blame you for his/her actions, promise it won't happen again, but then it does?
- Force you to have sex when you don't want to?
- Threaten to hurt or kill you or your children?
If you are being abused, please take these steps to protect yourself.
1. Call the Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital at 410-496-7555. We provide the following free services:
- 24/7 response to victims seeking hospital treatment
- Lethality assessment, safety planning and crisis counseling
- Court advocates
- Short-term emergency shelter
- Individual and group counseling
Individuals can also call the 24-hour Baltimore County Domestic Violence Hotline at 410-828-6390.
2. Pack a bag with the following items and keep it in a safe place like work or a friend's house, in case you need to leave suddenly.
- Clothes and money
- Photo identification and Social Security card
- Deed or lease to apartment or house
- Checkbook, bank statement, ATM and credit cards
- Medical insurance cards and needed medications
- Pictures of other evidence of abuse and/or court papers
- Copy of a recent pay stub
- Extra set of house and car keys
- Children's clothes, medications and favorite toys
3. Plan a safe way to get away when in danger.
- Avoid rooms with only one escape.
- Avoid rooms with weapons, such as the kitchen.
- Stay near a phone.
- Plan a signal with your children or neighbor to call police.
- Plan in advance where you would go if you had to leave.
- Trust your instincts. If you sense danger, get to a safe place.
Abusive relationships are difficult to leave. Get help before it's too late.