October is National Domestic Violence Month, symbolized by the color purple. Recent statistics suggest one out of every four women is a victim of domestic violence.
Janie Malloy at Response Victim Assistance says women need to leave violent situations, but they need to take extra precautions.
"A woman needs to, if she is leaving a situation probably call law enforcement. They will escort her to a shelter, so we usually depend on law enforcement to somehow get to a shelter safely. Make sure she has all her orders intact, CPO, Civil Protection Orders, restraining orders and temporary protection orders," tells Malloy.
Women should also try to take licenses, deeds, immunization records and money.
"Any kind of pertinent information because if you are gone a while and you need to hook up with the human services area, you have all that. You might even want to put all that in a bag or a safety lock box so if you have to leave quickly you will you have it right here," says Malloy.
Malloy says if a woman feels she is in danger, she should always try to have people around her. Or the woman should go to a hotel or somewhere her abuser would not typically look for her. Victim's advocates at Response can also help a woman pursue criminal charges against her abuser.
"We also help do civil protection orders so they can come here and we will help them do the paperwork go to court with them and refer them to attorneys to help them," says Dorothy Thomas, a victim's advocate at Response.
The Victims of Crime Compensation will pay for the protection hearing and assist with attorney's fees.
Malloy says domestic violence is about control so the first two weeks after leaving an abuser are the most dangerous. But law enforcement, the court system and the staff at Response are ready and willing to help any victim stay safe.
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