Good questions deserve good answers.

Could I be a victim of abuse?

It is not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. Relationship violence doesn’t always look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. One thing that is common amongst all abusive relationships is that the abusive partner uses various tactics to gain power and control over the victim. Some signs of an abusive partner may include- extreme jealousy, the need to know exactly where you are and what you are doing at all times, full control over finances, insults or demeans you, isolates you from friends and family, pressures you to engage in sexual activity that you do not want to do, tells you that you can never do anything right, pressures you into using drugs or alcohol, destroys your property, and/or threatens to harm or kill family pets.

What if my abuser isn't physically violent?

Physical abuse is only one type of abuse. There are many other types of abuse such as emotional, verbal, and mental abuse that do not involve any physical violence. Many victims state that the mental abuse is far worse than the physical abuse.

What if I am unable to come to your office in person?

We are able to do in-home visits if you are physically unable to leave your home. When we do this, we bring law enforcement with us for the safety of everyone involved.

What are some things I can do to stay safe before I am able to escape?

Safety Planning is the most important aspect. Plan ahead for any and every situation you can think of. Make a specific plan for every location you frequent often. Assign a safe word with family and friends that you can text them when in an emergency. Have a conversation when the safe word is established to make sure they understand to call 911 for you if they were to ever receive that word from you in a text. If you have a smartphone, download the "Aspire” app. Go to https://www.whengeorgiasmiled.org/aspire-news-app to learn more about this app.

Why do victims stay?

Abusive partners work very hard to trap victims in the relationship. They may isolate the victim from friends and family to reduce the people and places where the survivor can go for support. Often, abusers commit financial abuse to create financial barriers, making leaving even more difficult.

There is a real fear of death or more abuse if they leave. In fact, a victim’s risk of getting killed greatly increases when they are in the process of leaving or have just left. 

Through “gaslighting,” abusive partners cause victims to feel like they are responsible for the abuse. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that abusers use to confuse and shift blame onto the victim. This often causes the victim to doubt their sanity and feel like they are responsible for the abuse and therefore able to stop it.

Survivors often report that they want the abuse to end, not the relationship. A survivor may stay with or return to an abusive partner because they believe the abuser’s promises to change.

How can I support a family member or friend who I believe may be a victim of domestic violence?

Be there for them. Let them know you are there for them no matter what. Always keep lines of communication open and ensure they can contact you at any time.

Don’t get frustrated with them if they are not ready to leave the abusive situation. The decision to leave has to come from them. Be there to support them with their choices.

Victims may feel they are to blame for the violence. Reassure your friend that it is not their fault and they do not deserve to be treated like this.

Encourage your friend to access support that is available. Ensure they have emergency phone numbers and contact details of organizations that can help. You or your friend can contact Safe at Home 24/7 by calling our Crisis hotline at 765-518-4120

Talk to them about the abuse and explore options and choices. Don’t be judgmental if they are not ready to do anything yet. Stay positive and patient with survivors as they navigate through this very difficult situation.

Am I required to file a Protective Order if I go to Safe At Home for help?

We provide many different services depending on your individual need. Not everyone needs a Protective Order for their situation. With this being said, we would never force you to engage in any service you do not wish to do. It is ultimately your decision on what services you believe would be best for you and your situation.

How much does it cost to file a Protective Order?

It does not cost anything to file. Safe at Home does not charge for any services we provide.

Who is eligible to receive services from Safe at Home?

We serve anyone who is a victim of domestic or family violence or a sex offense. Protective Orders can be filed by anyone who is a victim of domestic or family violence, stalking, sex offense or repeated acts of harassment. However, Safe at Home will only file for those in which meets our mission which are domestic or family violence and sex offense victims. All other Protective Orders can be filed through the Henry County Clerk’s Office located in the Justice Center on Race Street.

If I file a Protective Order, do I have to press criminal charges against my abuser?

You do not have to file criminal charges against your abuser if you file a Protective Order.