Fri Jul 2nd, 2021
Tags: Abuse, abusive relationship, After the Violence, Control, Domestic Violence Awareness, Indigenous Women's Resource Center, Joy Samuelson, Power, Practical Plan, Safety, Services Manager, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, StrongHearts Native Helpline, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, Tips, Victim-Survivor, Violent Encounters
Be aware that in an abusive relationship, violence is used as a tactic for the abuser to maintain power and control over the victim-survivor. The violence will continue and may escalate in intensity and frequency.
Safety planning is an individualized process where a practical plan is created that includes ways to remain safe while in an abusive relationship. An advocate can help you produce a plan and discuss your options with you.
If a violent encounter seems imminent and unavoidable, there are a few options to consider to keep you safe. These tips cannot guarantee your safety, but by using your experience and intuition, along with these tips, you may be safer. You are the best person to judge your safety.
After the Violence
After a violent encounter, it can be difficult to process what has happened, take time for yourself to recover and reconnect with yourself. Seek medical attention if needed and is safe to do so. Consider documenting the violence and abuse. Take pictures and write descriptions of the abuse in a journal or open an email account and email them to yourself. If there are any medical or police reports documenting the abuse, keep the records. Make sure your information is kept in a safe place. Keeping documentation will allow you to have an option to pursue legal action in the future.
Participating in self-care activities like exercise, eating healthy, counseling, journaling, knowing when and how to emotionally check out during times of duress could be helpful. Be gentle with yourself mentally and physically. Practice your spirituality by smudging, praying or sitting with your traditional medicines if this helps heal your spirit.
“Immediate safety is important and long-term safety planning should be considered when you are in or exiting an abusive relationship,” said StrongHearts Services Manager Joy Samuelson (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe). “Our advocates can help you plan for your safety, no matter what your current situation is.”
StrongHearts Native Helpline
StrongHearts Native Helpline is a 24/7 culturally appropriate, anonymous, confidential and free service dedicated to serving Native survivors, concerned family members and friends affected by domestic, dating and sexual violence. Call or text 1-844-762-8483 or click on the chat icon at strongheartshelpline.org to connect with an advocate.
StrongHearts Native Helpline is a project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. *Tips adapted from The National Domestic Violence Hotline.