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Victims of domestic violence allegations deserve to be heard

Domestic violence is devastating to families, which is why you may want to begin thinking about how you can protect your mental and physical health after an attack. Violence in the home can put you on edge and make you feel like you're alone. That's not true, and there are many ways to handle your situation with grace and dignity.

No matter what your circumstances are, you have a right to safety. Start by developing a safety plan, which gives you a way out if things are violent at home. For example, have a location you can go to for someone to pick you up, a safe housing option and a packed bag with keys, clothing and other necessary items. Code words are also important, so you can signal that you're in trouble without letting the abuser know your intentions.

In a violent situation, having a plan isn't always going to help right away. How can you handle the violence and get yourself to safety?

Begin by keeping your cellphone on you. If you feel threatened, place a call to the police. Use your code word with family or friends who are present or who are chatting or talking with you on the phone. Try to get to a safe place that has multiple exits if you need to separate yourself from the abuser. That way, if you need to run, you have multiple options for getting away to safety.

What can you do if you're accused of being violent toward a loved one?

It is hard to understand what some people are thinking when they accuse loved ones of abuse. If you find yourself in that situation and see that your loved one is trying to pack to suddenly flee or has told others that you're abusive, you can seek help. Our website has more on how you can defend yourself.

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