If you are in immediate danger please call 911, otherwise call our hotline at
570-346-4671 or 1-800-257-5765
It can be difficult to acknowledge that you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence does not always look the same, but there are some warning signs that indicate an unhealthy relationship. Take a few minutes to answer these questions:
- Does your partner insult you in public or in front of your children?
- Does your partner treat you like you are stupid or call you names?
- Does your partner try to control what you do?
- Does your partner act really jealous of your friends or family?
- Does your partner blame you for his/her violence?
- Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or him/herself if the relationship ends?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it is important for you to get help. Call our Hotline.
The risk of sexual assault cannot be reduced to zero and even if you do not recognize these as warning signs, sexual assault is not your fault. Rapists are responsible for their actions, you are not. Watch out for people that:
- Ignore your personal space boundaries, stand or walk too close, or touch you without permission.
- Push you to drink beyond your tolerance level or wait to make a sexual advance when you are intoxicated. Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug.
- Use hostile or possessive language and do what they want regardless of what you want. For example, by making all the decisions about what you both will do.
- Try to make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being “uptight” if you resist their sexual overtures.
- Have wrong or unrealistic ideas about women (for example, “women are meant to serve men”). Such perpetrators are not likely to take objections to sex seriously.
Planning For Safety
If you are in or are planning to leave a violent relationship, it is important to make a safety plan first. Talk to someone you trust about your plan if possible. If you do not have someone or need help creating a plan, call our hotline at 570-346-4671 to talk to one of our crisis intervention counselors.
- Know where you can get help.
- Keep a list of important phone numbers (police, domestic violence hotline, hospital).
- Plan with your children. Identify a safe place for them (room with a lock, neighbor’s house). Let them know that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
- Know how you will leave and which doors or windows to use. Know the safest time to leave.
- Arrange a signal with a neighbor for when you need help.
- Prepare an emergency kit that you can get to quickly. It should include:
- An extra set of car and house keys
- Money, food stamps, checkbook, credit card(s)
- ID for you and your children
- Social security card or green card/work permit
- Health insurance cards, medications for you and your children
- Any court papers or orders
- Change of clothes for you and your children
Help Someone You Know
If you know someone that may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the Women’s Resource Center Hotline at 570-346-4671 or 1-800-257-5765 to talk about your concerns. Our knowledgeable counselors are available to talk to you, and all calls are kept confidential.
- Leaving an abusive situation can be scary and dangerous. Don’t pressure decisions, and don’t ask blaming questions like: “Why don’t you just divorce him/her?”
- Be patient and always offer a listening ear.
- Encourage them to call our hotline for safety planning, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, and many other services.
- Suggest they seek legal advice.
- Help them draft a safety plan.
When trying to help someone who is the victim of sexual violence:
- Let the survivor speak as little or as much as they feel comfortable.
- Avoid asking probing questions.
- Allow the victim to have control of the situation/discussion.
- It is the victim’s decision to contact the police or seek counseling.
- Encourage them but don’t do it for them.
- Be patient. Emotions range and change as direct result of the trauma.
Refer them to the Women’s Resource Center hotline.
If you are seeking information about domestic violence or sexual assault and ways to get help, it is possible your partner can track this information. Please note the Quick Escape button at the bottom of every page should someone be watching you.
Your online activity can be monitored through a number of ways, including spyware, hacking, and keystroke loggers. Even if you are careful about deleting your browser history, it is still possible for someone to gather information about what you are doing with your computer.
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since an abuser might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for innocuous activities, like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer in a public library, at a trusted friend’s house, or an Internet Café to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, or ask for help.
It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
Email and text messaging are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If you do, use a safe computer and an account your abuser does not know about.