The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence gathers data from all US states, and the statistics on the frequency of domestic incidents in Texas are disturbing. Roughly one-third of women and a quarter of men experience some form of physical violence by a spouse, former spouse, or unmarried intimate partner. There were more than 185,000 calls to hotlines reporting violent domestic episodes in 2014: For some victims, a phone call was too late: 114 Texan women were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2012, which is around 10 percent of the nationwide total. Many organizations recommend developing a “safety plan” to protect yourself if you are in a dangerous situation or feel threatened by an attack. In conjunction with a Texas restraining order, these plans are an effective way to take control over your situation, so some background information should be useful.
Overview of Safety Plans in Houston
It can be difficult to know exactly how to remain safe while in an abusive domestic situation, whether you are currently in a relationship, thinking of leaving, or already left. A safety plan can offer guidance as you cope with emotions, take legal action, get support from family and friends, and work out a strategy for your future.
The content of the safety plan includes the important documentation and paperwork you need to move on with your life after escaping domestic violence. The most effective blueprint is personalized for your situation and can adapt to different circumstances. In a moment of crisis, your brain may not focus on your needs as well as when you are calm, so your safety plan helps you navigate the stress.
Items to Include in Your Safety Plan
Though every situation is unique, you should consider making certain necessities part of your safety plan, such as:
- Developing an exit strategy from your home if you need to get out quickly;
- Telling family, friends, and neighbors “code words” that you use to indicate trouble, without alerting your abuser;
- Putting together a packet you can grab in a rush, which contains your passport, paperwork for your children, medical records, health insurance information, bank accounts, and other essential documents;
- Installing new locks on windows and doors, and a security system;
- Opening a bank account solely in your name; and,
- Working out a safe place to stay if you need to leave under emergency circumstances.
In addition, you may consider talking to a lawyer if you are a victim of domestic violence or feel threatened. An attorney can help you obtain a restraining order against your abuser, directing that person to avoid all contact with you and other individuals. Include your lawyer’s information in your safety plan, so you can reach him or her right away to get started on the legal process for a restraining order.
Talk to an Experienced Galveston, TX Domestic Violence Attorney Right Away
Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates in League City assist with all types of domestic violence cases, including emergency, temporary, and permanent orders of protection. Please contact us today at (281) 280-0100 or online to set up a consultation at our Galveston, TX office.