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Help Yourself or Someone You Know



If you are in an abusive relationship, this brief guide can be useful in planning, call an advocate to further discuss ways you can minimize risk and increase your safety.

  • Keep a phone near you
  • Have a safe place to stay in an emergency
  • Find someone you trust
  • Contact a Domestic Violence Agency
  • Vary your routes to and from work/school
  • Check in and around your vehicle before entering
  • Copy important documents
  • Take care of yourself
  • Tell neighbors about the abuse so they can get help
  • Practice technology safety, ask an advocate how


Generally, there are two types of Orders of Protection.

A Non-Offensive Order of Protection can stipulate that your partner/family member can still live with you, however, they cannot harass, threaten or harm you in any way.

A Stay- Away Order of Protection stipulates that your partner/ family member must move out of the residence, stay away from you at all times, and have no contact (including third party contact) with you.

Orders of Protection can be filed in Criminal, Family, or Supreme Court. To be filed in Criminal Court, charges must be filed against the partner/family member. Criminal charges do not have to be filed against your partner/ family member in Family or Supreme Courts. A Domestic Violence Advocate can help you through the process of filing a petition for an Order of Protection.

If you feel you are being abused, you can;

  • Contact the ECSO or your local Domestic Violence Agency
  • Develop a Safety Plan
  • Not blame yourself, you are not the cause of the abuse
  • Educate yourself about abusive relationships
  • Learn how to break the cycle of abuse
  • Realize you cannot change or “fix” your partner/family member
  • Realize you are not alone
  • Keep a journal
  • Teach your children to call for help
  • Talk to someone you trust

How to Help Someone You Suspect is Being Abused

  • If you suspect DV, ask them. Express your concern.
  • Believe them and be supportive
  • Respect their decisions. Don't blame them if they decide not to leave yet, or return.
  • Don't give up on them. Be their lifeline.
  • Understand it's difficult to leave. Be Patient.
  • Find out the contact info for your local DV agency and what services they offer
  • Help develop a Safety Plan.
  • Educate yourself about abusive relationships.
  • Don't suggest couples counseling.
  • Check on them daily.
  • Document what you see and what they tell you