In a movie, it is clear when the girl is in danger. The music is low and builds to increase your anxiety, the violence is building to this moment of great danger, and it is usually a dark and stormy night. But that is in the movies. In real life, it can be difficult to see the danger we are in every day, because it happens so gradually. How do you know if you are in a domestic violent situation? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your partner put you down or call you names?
- Does your partner criticize what you wear, how you cook, or other things you do on a regular basis?
- Does your partner keep you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Does your partner keep you from doing activities you enjoy?
- Does your partner track your phone calls, texts or emails?
- Has your partner ever hit you, pushed you or threatened to hurt you?
- Has your partner ever threatened to hurt himself/herself if you leave?
- Has your partner ever hit/kicked/slapped a pet in anger?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, you are at risk. Every year, thousands of individuals are in domestic violent situations. You can be protected and you can get help. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Stay on the phone with the operator until law enforcement arrives. Please be specific about the danger you are in at that moment. If you are able to leave, go to the Family Justice Center at 2101 Oak Street, Bakersfield CA (661-868-8410). They have many services that can help you immediately. You may also come to the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center where we can connect you to the Family Justice Center and the Alliance against Family Violence.
If you need medical attention, go to the Emergency Room. Please tell the medical professionals exactly what happened and allow them to document your injuries.
Understand that domestic violence will have life-long effects on you and your children. Without help, abusive relationships will get worse, not better. An apology is not enough. Get the help you need now! There are many people ready and willing to help you and your family, so please do not wait another day for a better tomorrow.