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For people living with violence

If you are being abused, you need to know that you do not ‘deserve' it. You are not to blame for the violence or threats. Every human being has the right to live his or her own life without fear. There is nothing you can do to control the abuser's behaviour. The abuser is using abusive behaviour in an attempt to control you. If the abuse is allowed to continue it will probably get worse.

You also need to know that there are many services that can help you find ways to get the violence out of your life. If you are not ready to do anything right now, that is your choice and it is okay. But you can find information about what you need to know, or do, if you decide to act later. Information gives you the ability to make personal choices.

If you live with violence, there are things you can do to protect yourself, including the following:

  • Tell someone what is happening to you. People being abused are often isolated from family, friends and communities. Abusers often encourage this isolation. Because victims are ashamed or afraid, they allow it. If you don't have a friend, clergy or family member you feel you can talk to, call the Island Help Line, Victim Services or PEI Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. These agencies understand abusive relationships and they know how to help. You do not have to give your name.

  • Find out about options available to you. The Community Legal Information Association of P.E.I. (CLIA) is a good place to start.

  • Get legal advice about your situation. Victim Services or CLIA can give you information about your legal options.

  • Record incidents of abuse. If you can do this safely, keeping a diary can help the police and the courts if you decide to do something later. Writing about what is happening to you is also a step towards healing.

  • If you have been physically hurt, see your doctor or go to a hospital. You need to make sure your injuries are not serious or life threatening. You can choose to do this without making a police report. If you choose to file a police report, all injuries need to be reported and documented.

  • Make a safety plan.  In case you have to leave quickly, it is a good idea to make copies of original documents over time. If you can safely do it, pack an emergency suitcase with necessities and treasured possessions.

  • Keep an emergency escape kit in a safe place that you can access at any time. The kit can be kept with a family member or friend, with your lawyer or in a safety deposit box. This kit should include an extra set of keys, glasses, money, medications and important papers including:

    • court documents, power of attorney documents or any other legal ruling that affects your life

    • license and registration

    • health cards, medical, school and vaccination records

    • passports, birth certificates, work papers and immigration papers for all family members

    • deed for the house and mortgage payment book or lease/rental agreement for the apartment

    • insurance papers

    • checkbook, bank cards, credit cards, bank books, bond certificates, social assistance records, Social Insurance card, and marriage certificate

    • address book

    • a photo of your abuser and any proof of the abuse including photos, threatening notes, taped telephone messages or your diary

    • names and badge numbers of police officers you dealt with in the past

  • Call 911 (the police) if you are in an emergency situation. You could also ask neighbours or friends to call the police if they hear or see anything suspicious.

  • Find a safe place with friends and family so you can leave in an emergency. Your safe place should be somewhere the abuser won't find you and where you will be protected.

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