If you are being abused or feel you are in danger, here's the advice from
Call the police.
Consider the following:
If you are in danger when the police come, they can protect you.
They can help you and your children leave your home safely.
They can arrest your abuser when they have enough proof that you have been abused.
They can arrest your abuser if a personal protection order (PPO) has been violated.
When the police come, tell them everything the abuser did that made you call.
If you have been hit, tell the police where. Tell them how many times it happened. Show them any marks left on your body. Marks
may take time to show up. If you see a mark after the police leave, call the police to take pictures of the marks. They may be used in court.
If your abuser has broken any property, show the police.
The police can give you information on domestic violence programs and shelters.
The police must make a report saying what happened to you. Police reports can be used in court if your abuser is charged with a
Get the officers' names, badge numbers, and the report number in case you need a copy of the report.
A police report can be used to help you get a PPO.
Get support from your friends and family. Tell your supportive Family,
Friends, and co-wokers what has happened to you.
Find a safe place. You should not have to leave your home because your abuser but sometimes it is the only way you will be safe. There are
Shelters taht can help move you to another city or state.
Get medical help. If you have been hurt, go to the hospital or doctor.
Sometimes you may not even know you are hurt.
What seems like a small injury could be a big one.
If you are pregnant and you were hit in your stomach, tell the doctor. Many abusers hurt unborn
Domestic violence victims can be in danger of closed head injuries. This is because their abusers often hit them in the head. If
any of these things happen after a hit to the head, get medical care right away.
Headache that will not go away
Get a personal protection order (PPO). It can protect you from being hit,
threatened,harrassed or stalked.
What is a Personal Protection Order?
A personal protection order, or PPO, is an order issued by the Circuit Court. It can protect you from being hit, threatened, harassed, or
stalked by another person. The PPO may also stop someone from coming into your home or bothering you at work. It can stop them from buying a firearm or finding your address through school records. It
can also stop them from taking your minor children unless required by the court.
Where can I get a PPO?
You can get the forms at the Juvenile Intake Office on the ground floor of theOakland County Courthouse at 1200 North Telegraph Road in Pontiac. The Women's Survival Center's PPO
Assistance Office, located at the Juvenile Intake Office, can help you fill out the forms.
Who can get a PPO?
- Anyone who has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or threatened by someone they have been married to, lived with,
have a child with, or dated. Some examples may include: a current or former spouse, family member, partner, other parent of your child, current or former roommate, or current or former person you
- Anyone who has been stalked. Stalking is repeated harassment that makes you feel scared or upset. A stalker can be someone you
know or a stranger. They often bother people by giving them attention they do not want. This can be unwanted phone calls or gifts, or following people by going to where they work or live. It can also
be threats to you or your family.
What should I bring?
- A letter telling the court what has been going on. Make sure to tell them everything. Include dates and details the best you
- Police reports, medical records, photographs, or witnesses if you can get them.
- Any information about the abuser - current address, date of birth or age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, address, Social
Security number, or driver's license number.
- Any court papers you have if you can get them. For example, custody and/or parenting time orders, lease agreement, divorce
papers, or criminal case records.
What should I expect when I get there?
- There is no cost to file a PPO.
- It may take up to a half day to have a judge review your request. Please be at the Courthouse no later than 2:00 p.m.
- The Juvenile Intake Office has the PPO forms. They will direct you to thePPO Assistance Office where staff can help you fill out the
- If there is any information you would like to be kept private, such as your address, do not include it when filling out your forms. Ask the Court Clerk for a
confidential address form.
- Once you complete the forms, a Deputy Clerk in the County Clerk's Office will look them over and give you a judge and a case number. They will ask you about
any other cases either of you may have.
- You will then meet with a referee (attorney). They will review your forms, ask you questions, and report to the judge.
- You will then go to the judge's office to meet with the judge's clerk. The judge and/or clerk may ask you more questions. The judge will review your request
and either sign your order, set it for a hearing, or deny it.
- Take the paperwork to the Clerk's Office on the ground floor for filing. If the judge has signed the order, the County Clerk will give you copies of the
order. The order will be put into a computer system that lets the police know there is a PPO.
- If a hearing has been set, the Clerk will explain how to 'serve' the paperwork.
- The PPO is in effect as soon as the judge signs it. The court may have problems enforcing the PPO if the abuser has not been served. The abuser must be
served with copies of everything you file with the Clerk's Office. The PPO Assistance Office can explain this to you.
- You must file a Proof of Service form with the Clerk's Office. The court may have problems enforcing the PPO if Proof of Service is not in the court
- You do not have to let the abuser in your home because a court order says he/she can see the children. You can make other plans, such as having a friend or
family member pick up and drop off the children. Or you can also meet at a police station or other public place. You may also ask for supervised parenting time through the court when you file your
- If you want your PPO removed, you must return to the courthouse where the PPO was given. You cannot change or remove the PPO by saying you no longer want the
PPO. Only the court can change or remove a PPO. The abuser can be arrested for violating the PPO until it expires or until the court removes the order. An abuser violates the order if he does
something the PPO does not allow. Do not agree to anything the PPO restricts, or invite the abuser to violate the PPO until the PPO expires or the court changes the PPO.
- CARRY A COPY OF YOUR PPO WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!! This will help police enforce the PPO if there is a violation.
Make a safe escape plan:
Compile important phone numbers for you and your children. Numbers
to have are the police, hotlines, family, friends and local shelters. Determine how to get out of your home safely. Think of where you could go. Consider ways to get weapons out of the
Personalized Safety Plan
Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. The resources in this book can help you to make a safety
plan that works best for you. It is important to get help with your safety plan. Many of the resources listed in this book can help you.
If you are in an abusive relationship, think about...
- Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
- Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code
word that you can use when you need help.
- How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.
- Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
- Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
- Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet or
going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
- Going over your safety plan often.
If you consider leaving your abuser, think about...
- Four places you could go if you leave your home.
- People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
- Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.
- Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
- How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.
- How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to
protect your children.
- Putting together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
ITEMS TO TAKE, IF POSSIBLE
Children (if it is safe)
Keys to car, house, work
Important papers for you and your children
Social security cards
School and medical records
Bankbooks, credit cards
Passports, green cards, work permits
Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
PPO, divorce papers, custody orders
Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)
Think about reviewing your safety plan often.
If you have left your abuser, think about...
- Your safety - you still need to.
- Getting a cell phone. Bet-Sheba may be able to help you with getting a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911. These phones are for when you need to call the police and cannot get
to any other phone.
- Getting a PPO from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
- Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.
- Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.
- Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a PPO protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy
- Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a PPO that includes where you work, consider giving your boss a copy of it and a picture
of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace. This should include going to and from work.
- Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
- Someone that you can call if you feel down. Call that person if you are thinking about going to a support group or workshop.
- Safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.
- Going over your safety plan often.
WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim's lives. When abusers feel a loss of control - like when victims try to leave them - the abuse
often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.
Things you need.
* Medical records,social security cards, birth certificates, clothes, money, favorite toy for your child, passport, identification, list important numbers, personal
hygiene items, cell phone, and leave the bag at a close friends home. Use codes to communicate. Contact The National Domestic Hotline for further escape information @ 1-800-799-7233
Know where to turn.
Houston Women Center, 713-528-2121, www.hawc.org
Houston Police Dept: emergency calls: 911
Non- emergency calls: 713-884-3131 www.houstonpolice.org
United Way Helpline: 211 www.unitedwayhouston.org
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse: 713-224-9911 http://avda-tx.org
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Statewide Hotline: 1-800-228-7395
Children's Sexual Abuse Hotline: 1-800-489-7273
Violence ! A Culture of Silence