Polk County District Attorney Jack Browning in a joint effort with the Safe Haven Program urges victims of domestic violence to develop a personal safety plan.
Browning points out that many families in Polk and surrounding areas are faced with difficult economic times from paying off debt from the holidays or uncertainty of employment and Browning says, “During times of stress, incidents of domestic violence can increase. I am working to get the message out that there is never an excuse for someone to become a victim of violence.”
Having taken office recently, Browning says he wants to educate the community about the crime of domestic violence and has released the following tips for victims of domestic violence.
If you are still in the relationship:
- Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Memorize all important numbers.
- Establish a "code word or sign" so that family, friends, teachers, or co-workers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say should violence erupt.
- Remember you have the right to live without fear and violence.
If you have left the relationship:
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
- Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
Browning wants everyone to know, “If you or someone you love is a victim, you can get help by calling the Our House Crisis Line at 770-749-9330 or the Georgia Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-33-HAVEN.”
Browning says that just by calling one of the hotlines, a victim can tap into resources to create a personal safety plan and an exit strategy.
“We are very fortunate to have an outstanding legal advocate serving our area, says Browning; those victims wanting help with obtaining protective orders may call the Office of the Legal Advocate at 770-748-6633.”
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