Violence and Abuse at Home
In some families, finding out about about a teenage pregnancy triggers violent and abusive behavior. Being pregnant puts you at a higher risk for assault and other kinds of abuse.
Some Jane’s Due Process clients are abused by someone who is trying to force them either to get an abortion when they don’t want one or to stay pregnant when they don’t want to be pregnant.
Some Jane’s Due Process clients fear violence at home even though it isn’t directed against them. One client put it like this: “My father takes everything me and my sisters do out on my mother. . . He’ll beat her. I can’t have her go through that because of me. I can’t tell her what’s going on because she tells Dad everything.”
No matter what kind of family violence you experience, know that you deserve better.
There ARE people who will talk to you anonymously, confidentially and non-judgmentally and help you figure out what to do.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.
- No one ever has the right to abuse you. You don’t deserve to be abused.
- If you are being hurt, you are the victim. It’s not your fault that you are being treated this way.
- It is wrong that you are suffering this pain, fear, and/or sadness.
- You are not alone. Other kids suffer abuse too. There are people who will help you and support you.
- Sometimes abusers scare or threaten you so you won’t tell. Abuse is not something you should be afraid to discuss. Telling someone you trust about the problem is the first step towards making things better.
- Violence you experience now can have a lasting effect on your emotional and physical health and on the emotional and physical health of any other children in the home.
- Domestic violence normally worsens over time, so it is important to stop it as soon as possible.
- There are people who care about you and want to help you.
How to Make a Safety Plan
Abuse usually escalates over time. You should think carefully about how to keep yourself safe.
Be prepared so that you know what to do before you find yourself in a situation where you are hurt or upset and won’t be able to think as clearly.
- Think of excuses ahead of time that you can use to get yourself out of dangerous situations.
- If you can’t avoid a violent encounter, stay away from rooms where he can find weapons (like knives in the kitchen) and rooms where you can be cornered (like bathrooms and bedrooms without any exits).
- Come up with a code word or signal that you can use to tell a trusted friend that you are in trouble and they should call for help.
- Make an effort to keep up friendships and activities that take you outside the violent relationship. Abusers often try to isolate and control you. Getting outside perspective can keep you from believing that you deserve to be abused.
- Plan where you can go if you escape a violent situation. Think of places where he wouldn’t think to look for you.
- Put aside money and clothes in case you have to leave home. Store them in a safe place, away from the house if possible, where you can get to them after you leave.
- Memorize and write down emergency phone numbers like the national domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE.
- Keep imortant documents, like identification, social security cards, and birth certificates in a safe place.
- If you have children or younger siblings, teach them emergency numbers like 911 and make sure they know what to do in an emergency if you get hurt and they need help.
These questions can help you identify a violent or abusive home:
- Do you feel safe at home?
- Do you ever feel threatened at home?
- Has anyone in your family ever slapped, hit, shoved, or threatened you or another family member?
- What happens when someone at home drinks or uses drugs?
If you are a pregnant minor in Texas, Jane’s Due Process is here to help you understand and exercise your legal rights. You are not alone. CALL Jane’s Due Process’ Legal Hotline: 1-866-WWW-JANE or 1-866-999-5263. Or TEXT to 512-270-7190.