This week we have been discussing the connection between winter weather and domestic violence. Statistics show that cold snaps and snowstorms can result in more instances of family abuse and assault, probably because families are cooped up together in their homes without the normal outlets for relief or escape. What can you do to help protect you and your family from abuse and violence during the coming winter months?
- Have a plan for escape – Part of the reason that abuse goes up in winter months is that it can be difficult to leave your home. Transportation may not be available and you may not know where to find help or shelter. In the event that your partner becomes violent, it is vital to have a plan to leave, no matter the weather.
- Pack an emergency bag – Have some warm clothes, water, money and a spare set of keys ready to go in the event that you need to exit your home quickly. In winter, you do not want to find yourself outside without proper clothing, a hat, and enough resources to get yourself somewhere warm.
- Have a nearby emergency contact – In snowstorms, it can be impossible to get to the home of a friend or family member. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get help from police or other authorities. Make sure that you have a closer contact, such as a neighbor, who you can reach in case of an emergency.
- Act now – If you are in an abusive relationship, don’t wait until you are in a situation where you are unable to leave the house due to weather conditions. If your partner has shown abusive and violent behavior, the time to leave is now. Don’t prepare for the next violent outburst. Execute your plan now.
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