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Surviving Domestic Abuse During “Stay Home” Orders: Tips on Staying Safe

This article was written by Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. It was last updated on March 27, 2020.

 

If You Are Still Living with Your Abuser

  1. Stay as safe as you can. When an argument breaks out, know the safest place in the house; stay away from spaces like the kitchen, bathroom and garage where objects that can be weaponized are kept.
  2. Have a safety plan and know where your keys and important papers are. If it is safe to do so (and you are in Austin, Grimes, Fort Bend, Harris, Waller, or Washington counties), call AVDA at (713) 224-9911 (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or visit online at avda-tx.org for safety planning. If it is not safe to use your phone or computer, ask a friend or family member to do so and share the information with you in a phone conversation, if safe.
  3. Prepare for a situation where an abuser might hide essential supplies and/or prohibit you from leaving the home to access essential supplies.
  4. Get outdoors, if you can. Staying home together provides more opportunity for conflict and for those disagreements to escalate. Take a walk to allow some time for things to de-escalate.
  5. Keep your gas tank full with your car backed into your parking place in case you have to make a quick escape in your car.
  6. For help 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
  7. If you can make plans to leave your abuser safely for a shelter or to stay with a friend or family member, do so. Remember: Never tell the perpetrator that you plan to leave.
  8. In an emergency, call 911. 

 

If You Recently Left Your Abuser

  1. Remember the most dangerous time for a survivor of domestic violence is at the time of or right after leaving the perpetrator.
  2. Emotional abuse leaves scars long after the actual abuse has ended. AVDA provides free counseling for victims of domestic abuse and their children.
  3. If you live in Austin, Grimes, Fort Bend, Harris, Waller, or Washington Counties: For free legal representation for protective orders, divorce, child custody, child support and adoption in the case of parent fatality, call 
    1. 713-224-9911 in Harris County;
    2. 281-207-2312 in Fort Bend County; and
    3. 979- 826-3290, ext. 219 in Austin, Grimes, Waller and Washington counties.