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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence can consist of many forms of abuse which include:
- verbal abuse
- emotional abuse
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- financial abuse
- environmental abuse
2. If I would decide to go to a shelter, what is it like?
The shelter is a large comfortable home. It provides excellent security in a residential neighborhood. Each family is given a private bedroom. Community areas include the living room, dining room, kitchen, and laundry.
3. Are things really bad enough to leave?
If things are bad enough that you are thinking of leaving then yes, you should leave. Abuse gets worse over time, so protect yourself and leave while you still can.
4. May I bring my children?
Absolutely! We encourage you to bring your children.
5. How long can I stay?
Some families need more time than others. The length of stay is a joint decision made by the individual and shelter staff based on need.
6. May I bring my pets?
Unfortunately no, however we will work very hard with you to find foster care for your pets until you can all safely be reunited in your new home.
7. What should I bring with me?
If you are in immediate danger bring only yourself & your children...just leave safely! If time permits and you plan ahead some of the items you need to consider bringing with you are:
- Identification for yourself & children (driver's license, birth certificate, school I.D., etc.)
- Medical insurance verification
- Eyeglasses, medication, medical supplies, etc.
- Any legal documents pertaining to your needs
- Bank account information, credit cards, ATM cards, etc.
- Important telephone numbers
- Child's favorite toy or security blanket
- Extra house/automobile keys
8. Can I keep my car?
Yes, you can keep your car.
9. Is childcare provided on site?
Yes, it's free of charge on a limited basis during shelter stay. Childcare is most frequently used so women can keep important business appointments such as counseling, housing, job interviews, doctor appointments, etc.
10. Can I still talk to my family?
This decision is yours. We hope that if your family is supportive that you keep in touch, however, we do recommend that you not disclose your location to anyone. Often, the abuser will seek out family & friends to discover where you've gone.
11. Can I keep my job?
Yes, you can keep your job. If needed, our staff will work with you to vary your schedule or change your work site to make it harder for your abuser to bother you.
12. Can my children attend their own school?
This is a decision only you can make. Will the abuser try to harm them or take them? If so, a new school would be safer. The shelter has a wonderful working relationship with local schools & can ease the transition for your child/children if needed.
13. Is the shelter really safe?
The shelter has a well-trained staff that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help ensure quality service in a safe yet warm environment. The shelter is equipped with both security & fire alarms. Security cameras also monitor the property.
14. What are my legal rights?
You have the right to remain free from abuse. Domestic violence is a crime. Beyond this, each case is different; therefore, shelter staff will ensure you meet quickly with a legal advocate. In this way, you are guided through the legal system by a knowledgeable, caring legal professional.
15. Will you help me move out of state?
Yes, we can help. Shelter staff will work closely with you to explore all of your safety options. Then your safest plan is put into action. You will have professional assistance every step of the way.
16. Can I change my identity?
Yes, but you must work with a legal advocate to make this happen. Federal laws have been passed that even allow for you to change your social security number in certain situations.
17. What if my abuser is not or I am not a citizen?
Everyone has the right not to be abused, regardless of citizenship. Our legal advocates have successfully worked with the Department of Immigration & Naturalization Services (INS) to ensure fair treatment of all clients during their time of crisis.
18. How can the police protect me from my abuser?
Again, domestic violence is a crime. The police have the right to arrest an abuser even if you do not file charges. You should work with shelter staff and legal advocates to arrange for an "order of protection".
19. I don't want to press charges, what are my choices?
You have the right to be free from abuse. Even if you decide not to press charges, all shelter services will be available to you. This gives you the time and opportunity to rebuild your life free from abuse.
20. How do I prove I'm being abused?
Your word is the best place to start. Beyond that, legal advocates can help you remember and contact witnesses. Do you have any of the following?
- Hospital reports
- Doctor's reports
- Photos of injuries
- Records from other agencies
21. Can I get other agency services if I don't go to the shelter?
Absolutely! Our Renew Counseling & Recovery Center offers a wide variety of services to meet your needs:
- Counseling for victims (individual & group)
(some fees, based on ability to pay, apply to counseling services)
- Alcohol and drug treatment for women
- Legal advocacy
- Case management and assistance with finding needed resources: housing, financial assistance, medical help
22. How can I tell if I'm being stalked?
Ohio has passed an anti-stalking law. Generally, you know you are being stalked if a person continually shows up at places you frequent. The stalker may leave notes, gifts, or threats. Contact a legal advocate for the specific definition of stalking and to learn what your rights are.
For Shelter Assistance Call
DVP Inc 24-Hour Hotline 330-453-SAFE (7233)