Worcester State University
University Police



Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Safety Plan – Your Rights

  1. I am not to blame for being beaten and abused. I have a right not to be abused.
  2. I am not the cause of another's violent behavior. I have a right to be angry over past beatings.
  3. I do not want it. I do not want my children to grow up to batter or be battered.
  4. I have a right to leave this battering environment.
  5. I have a right to be in a safe, non-violent home.
  6. I have a right to provide a healthy environment for myself and my children.
  7. I do not have to accept physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse.
  8. I have the right to make mistakes.
  9. I have the right to believe that I have a good memory.
  10. I have the right to have a partner who is sexually faithful.
  11. I have a right to participate in the process of making rules that will affect my life.

Domestic Violence is a National Problem


Domestic violence refers to family or household member situations where one person threatens, shoves, hits, slaps, punches, kicks, burns, forces sex with or otherwise abuses another person. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. A woman in the U.S. is physically assaulted by a partner once every 12 seconds. More women seek treatment in emergency rooms as a result of domestic violence than from the combination of muggings, rapes and car accidents.

That makes domestic violence the number one cause of injury to women in America.



     •   Women in the U.S. are in nine times more danger in their 
         homes than they are in the street. 

     •   A woman in Massachusetts is killed by her partner an
         average of once every 14 days. 
     •   Domestic violence crosses all economic, age, sexual 
         orientation, racial, ethnic and religious boundaries. 
     •   30% of pregnant women are battered 
     •   More babies are born with birth defects as a result of the 
         mother being battered during pregnancy than from 
         the combination of all diseases and illnesses from which 
         we immunize pregnant women 
     •  There are only 1,200 battered women shelters in the U.S.,
         but 3,800 animal protection shelters. 

Think Safety

    •   Have a safety plan 
    •   Think about where to go. 
    •   Try to save money and hide it with clothes in a safe place 
    •   Don't isolate yourself. Let neighbors and family members
        know of the abuse. Tell them to call the police if they hear
        any disturbance. 

1. Safety During an Explosive Incident

     •   If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room 
         or are that has access to an exit, not the bathroom or 
         kitchen or anywhere near weapons. 
     •   Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which 
         doors, windows, elevator or stairwell would be best 
     •   Have a packed bag ready and keep it in an undisclosed but 
         accessible place. 
     •  Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends 
         and neighbors when you need the police. 
     •   Decide and plan where you will go. 
     •   Use your own instincts and judgment. You have the right to 
         protect yourself until you are out of danger. 

:: You don't deserve to be hit or threatened ::

2. Safety when Preparing to Leave

     •   Open a savings account in your own name to establish your 
         independence. Always increase your independence. 
     •   Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important papers, 
         extra clothes with someone you trust. 

Remember, leaving your batterer is sometimes the most dangerous time


3. Safety in Your Home

     •   Change locks ASAP. Buy additional safety locks and devices 
         to secure windows. 
     •   Review Safety Plan with your children. 
     •   Inform children's school or daycare who can pick up kids. 
     •   Inform others that your partner no longer lives with you.

4. Safety with Protective Order

     •   Keep your protective order with you always. 
     •   Phone Police if your partner breaks the order. 
     •   Inform others you have a 209A (Restraining Order)

5. Safety on Job and in Public 
     •   Decide at work who you will inform. Include WSC Police if a 
         student, faculty or staff. Provide photo is possible. 
     •   Have someone screen your calls. 
     •   Have safety plan to leave work. Have someone escort you to 
         your car, bus, etc... use variety of routes to home if possible.

6. Emotional Safety

     •   Read books, articles and poems to help you feel stronger. 
     •   Join a support group.

Get to a Safe Place

     •   Don't stay at home. Doing nothing solves nothing. Go to a 
         friend, neighbor, or relative. Call the D.A.'s Victim Witness 
         Division or the 24-hour Battered Women's 
         Hotline (508-755-9030)

Call the Police

     •   If you are being battered, you cannot control the situation, 
         therefore it is important to report any assault or battery to the 

Follow Through

     •   Get the name and number of the investigators in your case. If 
         there is enough evidence an arrest will be made. File for 209A 
         Order. (Restraining Order)

Don’t Believe – “ l’ll Never Hit You Again."

     •   Often the batterer is unable to admit there's a problem.

Consider Your Safety

     •   Victim Witness Advocates can help you in acquiring a 209A 
         Order. Good for home, work, even classes at school. 
     •   Abusive relationships are based on the mistaken belief that one 
         person has the right to control another. This relationship is 
         based on the exercise of power to gain and control and 
         maintain it. The dignity of both partners is stripped away.

Using Intimidation

     •   Making you afraid by using looks, actions, or gestures. 
     •   Destroying Property       
     •   Smashing things    
     •   Displaying weapons     
     •   Abusing pets

Using Emotional Abuse

     •   Putting you down          
     •   Making you feel guilty     
     •   Making you feel bad about yourself 
     •   Making you feel guilty      
     •   Making you think you are crazy    
     •   Playing mind games. 
     •   Humiliating you

Using Isolation 
     •   Controlling what you do, whom you see and talk to, what you 
         read, and where you go 
     •   Limiting your outside involvement  Using jealousy to justify 

Denying, Blaming, Minimizing

     •   Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it 
     •   Saying the abuse didn't happen Saying you caused the abuse 
     •   Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior to other people or 


Using Male Privilege 
     •   Making all the big decisions                  
     •   Being the one to define men's and women's roles 
     •   Acting like "Master of the Castle"           
     •   Treating you like a servant

Using Economic Abuse
     •   Preventing you from getting or keeping a job         
     •   Taking your money 
     •   Making you ask for money                                      
     •   Giving you an allowance 
     •   Not letting you know about or have access to family income

Using Coercion and Threats

     •   Making and/or carrying out threats  to do something to hurt you 
     •   Threatening to leave you, to commit suicide, to report you of 
         fraudulent acts 
     •   Making you do illegal things 
     •   Threatening to "out" you

A healthy relationship is based on the belief that two people in a relationship are partners with equal rights to have their needs met and equal responsibilities for the success of the partnership. In the equality based system both partners dignity is based on equality.

Non-Threatening Behavior
     •   Talking so that you feel safe and comfortable expressing 
         yourself and doing things 
     •   Acting so that you feel safe and comfortable expressing 
         yourself and doing things


     •   Listening to you non-judgmentally         
     •   Being emotionally affirming and understanding 
     •   Valuing you opinions

Trust and Support

     •   Respecting  your right to have your own feelings, friends, 
         activities, and opinions 
         Supporting your goals in life


Honesty and Accountability

     •   Accepting responsibility for self     
     •   Admitting being wrong     
     •   Acknowledging past use of violence 
     •   Communicating openly and honestly

Responsible Parenting

     •   Being a positive, non-violent role model for children Sharing 
         parental responsibilities

Shared Responsibility

     •   Mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work  Making family 
         decisions together

Economic Partnership

     •   Making money decisions together. Making sure both partners 
         benefit from finances

Negotiation and Fairness

     •   Seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict   Accepting 
     •   Being willing to compromise

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