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IF YOU'RE READY TO LEAVE

Statistically, the most dangerous time for the abused person is when they are fleeing the violent situation. If at all possible, try and prepare by taking the following steps:
  • Contact your local crisis center to speak to an advocate; Serenity's 24 hour hotline is (870) 424-SAFE (7233)
  • Develop a safety plan by:
    • Putting away an emergency fund of cash
    • Obtaining copies of documents such as
      • Passports
      • Driver’s license
      • Birth certificates for yourself and child(ren) if applicable
      • Immunization records
    • Pack a suitcase with basic clothing and hygiene needs for yourself and child(ren) that is easily accessible in an emergency
    • Develop a code word for your family and friends to let them know you may be in danger
  • Educate yourself about the legal system (i.e. protective orders, legal remedies for immigrants, etc.)

Sexual Abuse
The term "sexual abuse" covers a wide spectrum of actions - physical and emotional - that the abuser may attempt to use on the victim.

  • Sexual assault: forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity. Coercion by threats and/or manipulation such as accusing the survivor of cheating or infidelity. Sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
  • Sexual exploitation (such as forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
  • Withholds sex and affection as punishment
  • Calls person offensive sexual names
  • Engages in sexual relationships outside of the marriage or monogamous relationship
  • Denies contraception or protection against a sexually transmitted infection

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How Do I Know?

power control wheel

The power & control wheel shows the different types of abuse and how abusers use various forms of abuse to intimidate and control. We have provided a wheel for you to view or download and print.

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