For Victims of Violence

The most important thing for you to understand if you are a vicitm of abuse is that there are people right now here in Yamhill County waiting to help you. You may be scared, you may be unsure of what to do, and you may be afraid of what will happen if your abuser finds out. But we are here to help you. We are here to help you find ways to live free from abuse.

 On this page we have gathered information that we think may be helpful for you. We have tried to give you information so you can evaluate your situation and make good and healthy decisions for yourself and your children. But if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call one of our advocates in Yamhill County who is waiting to help you. 

 WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

You may be surprised at the things that qualify as domestic violence. Most people thiink that in order for someone to be considered a domestic violence victim, they have to be beaten badly or injured severely.  However, the truth is that any kind of unwanted touch from pushing to grabbing is considered physical violence. And physical violence is not the only kind of domestic violence. Domestic violence also includes emotional violence, sexual violence, financial violence, animal abuse and psychologial violence. We have compiled a short list of examples of each of these kinds of violence.

Physical Violence - Any unwanted touch including hitting, pushing, slapping, kicking, pulling, pushing out the door, not letting you leave, driving recklessly, pulling hair, pinching, etc.

Emotional Violence- This is kind of violence can be much more damaging than even the physical abuse. Long after the physical wounds are healed, negative words and labels can remain in our heart. Examples of emotional abuse are calling you names, telling you that you aren't work anything, putting you down, humiliating you, yelling or screaming at you, blaming you for everything, telling you that you didn't do something right, etc.

Psychological Violence- This violence can sometimes be hard to recognize, because it is a kind of violence that is very manipulative. Abusers may tell you that they are doing things for your own good, but in reality it limits you and who you were meant to become and your potential. Examples of psychological violence are not allowing you to talk to family members or friends, lying to you, making you feel guilty, threatening you in any way, threatening someone you love, monitoring your phone calls, checking up on you during your free time, etc.

Financial Violence- Many times abusers control all the money so that their victim is dependent on them, or has to ask to get their basic needs met. Examples of financial abuse are not allowing you to have money for needs, making all the financial decisions for the household without your input, taking your pay check from you, not allowing you to work, getting you fired from your job, making secret purchases, etc.

Sexual Violence- Most times when we think of sexual abuse we think of a rape from a stranger or an adult having a relationship with a child. But sexual violence can also happen in a relationship. Sometimes victims think that their partner has the right to their body because they are in relationship with them. However, you have rights to your own body even if you are married. Examples of sexual abuse are pressuring you to have sex when you do not want it, forcing you to do things you do not want to do, inflicting pain during sex, making you watch pornography against your will, having affairs, criticizing your sexual performance, etc. 

If you want more examples and more information you can click on the link below.      

 

THE CYCLE OF ABUSE

Abuse usually happens in a kind of cycle or it repeats itself over and over again in similar patterns. In this cycle the offender and the victim are caught in this pattern and neither are aware of how the cycle just keeps continuing. Over time, it is most likely that the kinds of abuse will become more violent or more hurtful. Remember abuse includes verbal and psychological abuse as well.

 Abuse: Abuse can be any kind of abuse (refer to the examples above).

 After the Abuse comes the Excuse Making: The partner and/or the victim rationalize the abuse.  The one who committed the abuse may say he or she did not mean to do it or they could not help themselves, that the victim must try harder, work harder to love better and do what they want,  or if you were more perfect the abuse would not happen. Sometimes the victim believes this message and thinks that if he or she could just try hard enough the abuse would not have happened.

 Honeymoon: Things seem great at this stage. The offender apologizes and we make new promises. The victims may get presents, or new apologizes that the abuse won't happen again. Many time victims feel good at this stage and are hopeful that the abuse if finally over.  

 Routine: The two people return to their normal life with the normal ups and downs of everyday.

 Tension Stage: Tension is building. The victim of the abuse can tell things are starting to upset the abuser and they begin to start walking "on eggshells" to avoid triggering the abuse.

 Trigger: Something sets off the abuser. I’m late getting home or I forgot to fill the gas tank or the laundry isn’t folded or I was too nice to the grocery clerk.

Abuse Occurs: It happens again. The victim and offender move back into excuse making and the cycle continues all over again.

If you want more information on how this Cycle of Abuse works in a real example you can click here.  

This information on the Cycle of Abuse was taken out of the book, "It's Not Okay Anymore".

 ARE MY CHILDREN BEING AFFECTED BY THE ABUSE?

Some people think that if their partner is abusing them, that the children do not know. This is generally false. Children are smart and can figure out what is going on. There are many stories of children being awakened by screaming, the throwing of objects, or other fighting sounds. Children learn early that they are unable to prevent violence and so they try and stay out of the way of it. You may think that your child does not know about the fighting, but your child may know more than what he or she is telling you.

Some people also think that the violence children witness will have no affect on the child. However, we have discovered that even if a child is not a victim of abuse there can be affects on children for witnessing the violence between people that they love. There are many possible symptoms for children who have witnessed violence. A few of the symptoms include, changes in behavior, aggressiveness, lack of focus in school, low self-esteem, sleeping difficulties, depression, anxiety, behavioral problems in school and other symptoms. Each child is unique so the affects on each child are different and unique. If you would like to read more about the symptoms, you can click on the link below to get more information.

If your child has been part of a home with Domestic Violence, there is still hope. You can still help your child move beyond the bad memories of violence in the home. Children are resilient, and with your support, they can heal. It is important to make a life commitment to not allowing anymore violence in the home and call the police if you feel threatened again in any way. If you have concerns about your child regarding the affects of domestic violence, you can talk to your school counselor or another counselor in the community. 

  GETTING A RESTRAINING ORDER 

A Restraining Order is a court order that prohibits the person who has been abusive or threatening to have contact with the victim. A Restraining Order is helpful because without one, sometimes police are unable to arrest if the person continues to be threatening or harrassing. With a Restraining Order, the police can arrest if the abusive person is driving by, shows up at your work or home, or calls you on the phone. It gives the victim a tool to stay safe and allows for police to protect the victim.

However, we must also say that a Restraining Order does not guarentee safety. Sometimes an offender will ignore the court order and continue to try and harass the victim. It is important for victims to call the police the moment they see the abuser to make sure that the Restraining Order gets enforced. The abuser will go to jail if they break the Restraining Order.  

Restraining Orders are court orders so they must be filed in court. The two victim's agencies in Yamhill County, Crime Victim's Assistance and Henderson House can help you with the process of filling out forms to petition the court for a Restraining Order.

There are a few conditions that need to be met in order for a Restraining Order to be approved by a judge. If you would like more information on the conditions that must be met in order to obtain a restraining order you can click on the link below.

  

No-Contact Orders

Another type of court order is a No-Contact order. A no-contact order is placed on the abuser by the State of Oregon. Sometimes a victim will try and get the no-contact order removed by requesting the court. However, many times a judge will deny this request until the abuser has entered treatment and is being monitored to help prevent further abuse to the victim.

It is possible to have both a restraining order and a no-contact order placed on an abuser. In order to have contact, both must be removed. For example, lets pretend that Sally is a victim of domestic violence. She goes into the Victim’s Assistance and they help her file a restraining order against her husband. But once her husband is arrested for domestic violence the court puts a no-contact order against him. A few months later, Sally petitions the court to drop the restraining order. The judge agrees to drop the restraining order, but the husband is still unable to have contact because of the no-contact order. After a few more months, Sally’s husband has been involved in treatment and is doing well in his classes,  Sally is called by a probation officer to see if she would be okay with the no-contact order being removed. If Sally agrees to this, the probation officer may petition the court for a modification of the restraining order as long as her husband is adhering to all of his rules of probation.

Usually, a no-contact order will not be removed at the request of the victim. No-contact orders are removed when the offenders complies with treatment and is following through with his probation officer’s recommendations. Sometimes this can be frustrating for a victim when she wants to get back together with her partner. It can also cause financial stress, emotional strain and difficulty with raising children having a partner out of the home. However, the no-contact order is placed in an effort to ensure a victim’s safety. There are agencies in the community that can help with resources and support during this time of transition. If you feel you need more help, but are unsure of who to contact, you can contact the victim's advocate agencies that are at the bottom of this page. 

 PLANNING FOR YOUR SAFETY

Your safety is our first priority. All of the agencies in Yamhill County that work with the Domestic Violence Task Force are committed to keeping you safe. No one should have to live with violence in their lives. However, it is hard for us to know that you need help unless you let us know. The best thing is to call, email or come in to either Crime Victim's Assistance or Henderson House to get the help you may need. They have walked many victims that are in your similar circumstances and helped them find safety and peace in their lives.

If you feel to afraid to reach out at this time, we have created a safety plan of things that you should be thinking of as you try and stay safe on your own. Click the link to download your own safety plan. 

Resources for Victim's of Domestic Violence

To go to the Henderson House website you can click on this link: