Domestic Violence Does Not Respect Age
Domestic violence is about power and control. It is never to be confused with love, caring, or respect. It is physical harm, but it can include emotional and verbal abuse. It affects all ethnic, religious, educational, occupational, and socio-economic groups. Anyone, any age, can be a victim of this devastating and demoralizing behavior.
Remember-the period immediately after leaving can be a dangerous time. This is when the abuser may be the most violent. If you have to communicate with the abuser, do so by phone or mail. If you have to do it in person, bring a police officer with you for protection.
Portrait of a Victim of Late Life Domestic Violence
* Has difficulty admitting that domestic violence is a problem.
* Believes that her needs are not as important as her family.
* Has cultural or religious views that affect decisions about marriage and family.
* Believes marriage is for better or worse, and that divorce, or life away from her husband, isn't possible.
* Is concerned about what others will think if they find out that she's a battered wife.
* Would be embarrassed, or feel like a failure, for seeking help for an abuse problem.
* Fears that leaving home will put her in a vulnerable status.
* Is financially dependent on her spouse.
Preparing to Leave: A Safety Plan
* Create a safety exit from your place of residence.
* Open a savings account in our own name to establish or increase your independence.
*Select someone you trust to be the person with whom you'll stay when you leave.
* So that you can leave quickly, leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents (birth certificate, passport, social security card, and bank books), extra clothes, and telephone numbers of friends and relatives with the person you have selected.
* When you leave, bring your diver's license, or other form of ID, any medications, prescriptions, glasses, hearing aids, and personal items, such as photographs. * Always take photographs of any injuries you might have sustained and keep torn clothing for evidence.
* Review your Safety Plan as often as possible in order to be prepared to leave the abuser quickly. Keep your Safety Plan in a safe place.