Knifing is a tragic irony

Oct. 01, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

It is a tragic irony that Union County has marked the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness month with a knife attack by a husband that was so brutal that his wife had to be airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte while her husband fled to Rock Hill, S.C.

It is a story that we wish we did not have to tell, but far too often we must. So many women stay in abusive relationships. Some who remain in denial about their spouse, others who feel trapped by threats, financial isolation or fear that life outside the home will be even harder.

Until those women find the motivation to seek help from agencies like Union County’s Turning Point, they must learn to survive their cirucumstances. Here are some suggestions and advice from the American Bar Association. If applies to you, read it and remember. If you know someone who needs this advice share it with them. Help them survive.

If you are at home and you are being threatened or attacked:

Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives, there)

Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you

Get to a room with a door or window to escape

Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can

Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help; get the dispatcher’s name

Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help

If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name & badge number

Get medical help if you are hurt

Take pictures of bruises or injuries

Call a domestic violence program or shelter (some are listed here); ask them to help you make a safety plan

How to protect yourself at home:

Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers

Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times

If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows

Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children

Think about where you would go if you need to escape

Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on

Pack a bag with important things you’d need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust

Include cash, car keys & important information such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical records & medicines, immigration papers

Get an unlisted phone number

Block caller ID

Use an answering machine; screen the calls

Take a good self-defense course

How to make your children safer:

Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help

Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address and phone number to the police

Teach them who to call for help

Tell them to stay out of the kitchen

Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo of the abuser

Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser

Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE