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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Do You Really Think No One Knows?

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and we mean everyone...

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How to Get Help


Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and it is very difficult to completely clear all website footprints. If you are in danger, please use a safe computer that your abuser cannot access directly or remotely.

Acknowledging that you are in an abusive situation is the first step to helping yourself. But if you’re not there yet, ask yourself if your spouse:

  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all of the decisions?
  • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
  • Force you to try and drop charges?
  • Threaten to commit suicide if you leave them?
  • Threaten to kill you?

Most people, when beaten or intimidated by someone in their own family, feel helpless, afraid, embarrassed, and guilty. These emotions, plus a belief that what happened was not really a crime, often keep victims from taking any action. Everyone hopes and believes that it won’t happen again.


Unfortunately, abusers follow a predictable cycle—tension builds and erupts into an attack, then remorse and a period of reconciliation follow until tension again builds and is released by violence.

It is extremely important to understand that you are not alone though.


Report any cases of abuse for the safety of yourself and your children.

Call 911 and leave home immediately if you feel you are in real physical danger. When you call 911 you should stay on the phone with them until law enforcement is at your door and the dispatcher says it’s okay to hang up the phone.

If you can’t leave home, while you call 911, try to call a neighbor, a friend or the TBW from another phone and let them know that you are on the phone with 911 and need help. Instruct them to stay outside but to get the attention of as many neighbors as possible. While abusers may be unpredictable, gathering neighbors on the front lawn will discourage them from continuing their attack.

If you have children, don’t leave them alone with the batterer. They may also be in danger of abuse. Also, leaving them may constitute abandonment, which could hurt your chances of getting custody in the future.


Documenting the abuse is extremely important.

  • Report the assault to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible. Officers will investigate to see whether they can make an arrest. They can tell you about local assistance, counseling, and shelters, and take you to the hospital. They can also stay while you pack clothing and other personal items if you choose to leave.
  • Save evidence of the assault. Keep torn or bloodied clothing and go to the emergency room for treatment.
  • Take photographs of the scene and/or any injuries.
  • Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.

Don’t Stay! Locate a family member, friend or local shelter to stay with. Many abusers will continue or resume their abuse. The safest place for you and your children is away from the abuser.

  • For a list of Ohio shelters by county, please click here. For a pocket guide copy, please click here.
  • Additional shelters or hotlines to seek help from:
  • - National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 202-745-1211
  • - National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • - Ohio Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-934-9840
  • - Ohio Family Violence Prevention Center: 888-448-4842
  • If you are staying in your home and the abuser has left, DO NOT let the abuser back in to your home.


Know what to expect in the days that follow.

  • If you live within the City of Columbus and someone has been arrested on a charge of Domestic Violence, please click Columbus city attorney gives tips on getting help for domestic violence, for more information on what to expect. If you do not live within the City of Columbus, check with your local police department as to whom you need to contact within the city or county that you live in, to speak with the domestic violence prosecutor and/or domestic violence advocate.
  • Reporting and documenting will allow you secure a protection order. It is important to understand protection orders as they pertain to the laws in your state. For the State of Ohio, click here.
  • For more information on the City of Columbus Domestic Violence/Stalking Unit, please click here.
  • To review a copy of the Online Domestic Violence Booklet that explains protection orders and the court process for the City of Columbus, please click here.


Protect yourself and your family from future abuse.

  • Secure a protection order!
  • Report any violations of the protection order!
  • The ADT Aware® program, ADT Security Services, Inc., donates and installs electronic security systems (which include hold-up alarm pendants and 24-hours-a-day monitoring) in the homes of domestic violence victims. Victims in need of the program should contact their local battered women’s shelter or domestic violence unit at the police department to see if they qualify.
  • Check out the TBW’s Personal Safety pages for additional ways to protect yourself on a daily basis.
  • Check out the TBW’s Home Security pages for additional tips on how to secure your home and vehicle.
  • If you live within the TBW area, please contact us and we will list your address on the list of addresses the TBW is watching, for the safety of your family. Vehicle and abuser information will allow us to list those items on other lists so that the community can also watch for the abuser in the area.
  • More domestic violence/violence publications are available by clicking here!

More domestic violence/violence publications are available by clicking here!

You Are Not Alone!

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