Being the victim of domestic abuse is terrifying. In addition to the stress of wondering what you should do to physically take care of yourself, you also have to decide what’s the best way to prevent this from happening in the future. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, take these five steps immediately after your incident.
1. Call 911.
Immediately after the abuse, call 911. When the police arrive, they will start gathering evidence to make their report. This evidence will include an interview with you as well as any appropriate photographs. While the police are there, ask them any questions you might have about filing a restraining order against your abuser.
Try not to straighten or fix anything before the police arrive so they can thoroughly document the scene of the crime. In many cases, this might mean that they need to photograph you and your injuries. Do your best to avoid washing your hands or wounds before the photographic evidence is collected. If you are the victim of sexual abuse, try to avoid going to the bathroom before you seek medical help.
2. Seek medical help if necessary.
If you have been sexually abused or if your wounds could be significant, get medical attention. In particular, you should go to the hospital if you have been hit in the head. Serious head injuries can have relatively few warning signs, so it’s always best to have medical professionals run the appropriate tests to assess the extent of your injuries.
Additionally, seeking medical help has two main benefits. First, professionals run the appropriate tests so you can quickly understand the extent of your injuries. Second, a medical account of your injuries can help a judge fully understand the extent of your abuse.
3. Document/photograph your injuries.
Even if the police and the hospital have taken photographs and recorded your injuries, it’s still a good idea for you to do the same. In some cases, injuries that were not noticeable after the attack will appear in the following days. Take pictures of yourself regularly while your body heals to ensure you keep a good photo journal of your healing process.
4. Go to a safe place.
Whether it means staying with a friend or checking into a shelter for abuse victims, get yourself to a safe place. Although staying with a friend or loved one might seem comforting, it could be possible for your abuser to guess where you went and find you again.
If you are worried about your attacker coming back, you should probably stay in a shelter. Most shelters have locked doors with security systems. This makes it significantly more likely that your attacker will not be able to get access to you.
5. Get emotional support.
You don’t need to tell everyone about your situation, but you do need to confide in a friend, family member, co-worker, or therapist. Choose someone who you know will be supportive and let that person know what has happened to you. You don’t need to go through this alone.
Do You Need Help Filing a Protective Order?
When you are ready to file a protective order against your attacker, The Alsandor Law Firm can help. Our expert attorneys will ensure everything is completed and filed correctly so you can get the safety and protection you need. To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today at (713) 600-1236 or contact us online.