Awareness

If you are experiencing abuse of any kind, we want to help you. Domestic abuse and child abuse are unfortunately found in many types of families, but it can be even more difficult to receive help while living in polygamy, because of the isolation of the lifestyle. Abusers use power, control, domination and fear to control their victims. Educating yourself is the first step in taking back your power. When you are ready for HELP, please contact us day or night.

Defining Domestic Violence*

Domestic violence is not simply a “family matter” or an argument between partners. It is a systematic pattern of abusive behaviors used in relationships by an intimate partner or cohabitant. This includes violence/abuse in all its forms — physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal, financial, and/or spiritual. Domestic violence is about power, control, domination and fear. No matter what the culture, it is never about “losing” control for the perpetrator. It is about “gaining” control.

Domestic violence is a learned behavior and a choice. Perpetrators choose when and where violence will take place and against whom. When a person exhibits a pattern of power and control over someone they have, or had, a relationship with by using physical and sexual violence, threats, emotional abuse, financial control, legal status, harassment or stalking, he or she is committing domestic violence. This type of control is also used to alienate victims from their family members, friends and co-workers. This leaves the victim with no feasible support system to leave the relationship.

Cycle of Violence
Safety Plan for Victims

Holding Out HELP
801-548-3492 Salt Lake City
866-517-3632 Toll-free

*For more information, you can view The Primer, a complete guide to helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse in Polygamous communities. This comprehensive document also includes a list of all State Codes.

Cycle of Violence*

Domestic violence generally follows a predictable pattern of reoccurring behaviors and may include the three-phase cycle of violence identified below. Not every relationship will show these phases, which may differ in length and severity.

Step 1: Tension Building
This phase is characterized by increased tension, anger and blaming. During this phase, the victim may feel like he or she is “walking on eggshells.” The victim may feel responsible for the eruption of violence and will try to appease the abuser. They may do everything possible to avoid another blow up, conflict or incident or they may try to trigger the abuse to get to the honeymoon phase.

Step 2: Violence
When the violence occurs, it can include verbal, physical, sexual abuse or any combination. It may range from threats to violence with a weapon.

Step 3: Honeymoon/Hook
Often called the “reconciliation phase” or “hearts and flowers,” this phase is characterized by a sense of calm in the relationship. The abuser may be repentant and loving. The abuser may minimize the violence and/or insist that he or she will never do it again. In time, however, the cycle begins again with tension building and may increase in severity over time.

Holding Out HELP
801-548-3492 Salt Lake City
866-517-3632 Toll-free

*For more information, you can view The Primer , a complete guide to helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse in Polygamous communities.

Safety Plan for Domestic Violence Victims in Polygamy*

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • If you can see an argument coming (often you can’t), try to go to a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom (near hard surfaces), a kitchen (knives) or anywhere near weapons.
  • Try to stay in a room with a phone so you can call 911, a friend or a neighbor.
  • If weapons are in the home, inform law enforcement.
  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route. Identify the best doors, windows, elevator or stairwell.
  • Have a packed bag ready with any medications and other important items. Keep it hidden in a handy place in order to leave quickly. Consider leaving the bag elsewhere if your abuser searches your home.
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, grandchildren and others to communicate that you need the police.
  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
  • Use your instinct and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider any action that might calm things down to give you time to assess what to do next.

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  • Bring any medications, prescriptions, glasses, hearing aids or other assistive devices you may need.
  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
  • Keep the domestic violence program number close at hand and keep some change or a telephone calling card with you at all times for emergency phone calls. Consider getting a cellular phone if possible.
  • Review your safety plan as often as possible.
  • If you have young children, grandchildren or other dependents living with you, discuss a safety plan for when you are not with them and inform their school, day care, etc. about who has permission to pick them up.

Holding Out HELP
801-548-3492 Salt Lake City
866-517-3632 Toll-free

*For more information, you can view The Primer , a complete guide to helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse in Polygamous communities.


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