If You Are in Immediate Danger, Please Call 911
You are not alone.
REACH recognizes that navigating an abusive relationship is difficult. Your safety is important. There are steps you can take to plan for your safety, whether you plan to remain in the relationship or are preparing to leave.
Am I in an abusive relationship?
A healthy relationship means both you and your partner are:
- $Making mutual choices
- $Economic/financial partners
- $Enjoying personal time away from eachother
You may be in an unhealthy relationship if your partner is:
- $Not communicating
- $Not trusting
- $Trying to take control
- $Only spending time together
- $Pressured into activities
- $Unequal economically
Abuse is occurring in a relationship when one partner is:
- $Communicating in a hurtful or threatening way
- $Accusing the other of cheating when it's untrue
- $Denying their actions are abusive
- $Isolating their partner from others
Being able to tell the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships can be more difficult than you would think. No two relationships are the same, so what’s unhealthy in one relationship may be abusive in another. Although there are many signs to pay attention to in a relationship, look for these common warning signs of dating abuse:
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Constant mood swings towards you
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what they can and cannot do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
Source: Break the Cycle
Get Help for yourself.
- Tell someone – Don’t be afraid to talk to a friend, adult, family member, or someone you trust. There are people and organizations who can help you get out of a violent dating situation before it escalates.
- Mandated Reporters: Some adults, such as teachers, counselors and health care providers, are required by law to report abuse happening to anyone under age 18. If you are nervous about talking to an adult, ask whether they are required to report abuse to anyone under 18. Let them know that you are worried about your privacy, and talk with them about some of the ways they can help you. Also, you can always ask an adult about how you can help a friend who’s in a dangerous relationship without revealing that you have the same problem.
- Document the abuse – Record what’s taking place. Keep a journal of the violence you’re experiencing, including the dates and times of each incident. Seek medical care for any injuries. Print out emails, text messages, or any other form of electronic communication that contains evidence of dating violence.
- Leave the relationship – Relationships can turn violent quickly. If this happens, get out of the immediate situation. Consult friends or trusted adults for help before the abuse intensifies.
- If you are 12 years old or older, you can file a restraining order on your own.
- Call REACH if you have questions or need assistance with applying
- You can also visit: The restraining order process for domestic violence cases | CA Courts Self Help
Get Help at School
- Tell your school resource officer
- Talk to your school counselor and discuss options for changing classes if appropriate
- Walk to-and-from classes with a friend/campus safety/school official
- Take a different route to school
Get Help at Work
- Talk to a manager about changing your schedule
- Take a different route to work
- Walk to-and-from work with a friend/coworker/security
Get Help at Home
- Tell someone in your household (preferably an adult)
- Keep your phone on you and charged in the event you need to call emergency services
- Don’t engage with the offender if they present at your home
- Don’t be afraid to call emergency services if at any point you feel threatened or are scared for your safety
Here are some other things you can do to keep yourself safe
- Cell Phone: Always have a cell phone with you, along with important phone numbers. Clear searches, turn off location service/share location, speak with your provider about safety features.
- Social Media: Block your ex’s access to your email, Facebook and other places where you share information.
- Messages/Contacts: Ask friends and family to not relay messages from your ex.
- Routine: Change your routine so it’s harder to locate you (consider home, school, work, and outside activities).
- Talk to a Trusted Adult: Ask an adult that you trust at school to help you stay safe when you are there.
- Trusted Friends and Family: Give trusted friends and family a code word for contacting emergency services when need and ask them to call emergency services when warranted.
- Find someone you trust to travel with you, sit with you, stay by you or watch out for you at your job, school events and other activities.
- Arrange to call someone you trust to let them know that you have arrived safely or that you’re okay. If you do not call as planned, you will tell them to call the police.
- If you’re being assaulted or afraid an assault is about to occur, you can the police or 911.
Get help as a parent.
Please visit the links below for parent resources.
REACH provides advocacy and accompaniments for teens receiving forensic interviews, forensic or medical exams, law enforcement interviews, or court, as a result of teen dating violence.
REACH provides case management services and support to parents and caregivers. Building on the strength and resiliency that families already possess, REACH helps identify and works to reduce barriers to receiving services, stigma about victimization, gaps in services, and obstacles created by oppression and discrimination. REACH case managers serves as guides to navigating the web of services available.
REACH can assist with applying for restraining orders, confidential address programs, and victim’s compensation.
While all services are confidential, REACH Therapists and Staff are Mandated Reporters.
Click here for our support services available.
REACH believes that everyone deserves to live without fear, abuse, or violence. You are not to blame for the abusive actions of others and your safety is our priority.
At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.
-Christine Mason Miller
You have options, we are here to support you, REACH an advocate at 866-373-8300
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
These safety planning techniques may not work for everyone — please consider doing a safety plan with a trusted adult.
Creating your own safety plan.
To create your own personalized safety plan, please click here.