A story published by the Valley Community Legal Foundation of the SFVBA
LISA HERNANDEZ HAD AN IDEAL CHILDHOOD, surrounded and cared for by loving parents. She attended college where she majored in business administration, and soon found herself with a rewarding career. In 2001, Lisa met a man, they fell in love, three years later they were married and Lisa soon became pregnant with her first child. Her life was pleasant, and she was happy.
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The holidays are a time of giving and no one does that better than Marlene Marshall. For almost 10 years Marlene has been making these colorful afghans for all of the children in our shelter. Not only does she take the time, all year long, to create these works of art, she also supplies all of the materials at her own expense. Haven Hills has been the recipient of many acts of kindness this holiday season, and we are incredibly grateful for every one of them. Thank you, Marlene, from all of us at Haven Hills and warm wishes for a joyful holiday season.
Woodland Hills, California Girl Scouts, and students from St. Mel’s Catholic Church also in Woodland Hills, collected dozens of pairs of new pajamas for the families at Haven Hills. Along with the pajamas came a generous donation of plush blankets! This is what the season is all about. Thank You Girl Scouts and St. Mel’s!
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Haven Hills offers services to people of all backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and to the LGBTQ community. We treat abusers seeking to move past the cycle of domestic violence. Call our 24/7 Crisis Line at 818.887.6589 if you, or someone you know, is the victim of domestic violence.
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If you’ve experienced or witnessed any of these signs we advise that you seek guidance immediately. Understanding the impact of these instances is crucial in protecting yourself, your children, or potential loved one.
Ridiculed or insulted your religion, race, heritage, class or women as a group
Withheld approval, appreciation or affection as punishment
Continually criticized you, called you names, shouted at you or demeaned you by telling you you are unable to manage without male help
Insulted or drove away your family and friends
Refused to socialize with you
Threatened to hurt your family, or threatened to kidnap the children
Controlled all the money, kept you from working or prevented you from making decisions
Manipulated you with lies/contradictions or controlled you with jealousy/possessiveness
Intercepted your mail or telephone calls, or took away car keys or money
Punished/deprived the children when he was angry at you, or abused pets to hurt you
Regularly threatened to leave or told you to leave
Blamed you for the violence
Pushed, shoved, slapped, bit, kicked, choked, punched or tripped you
Held you down to keep you from leaving or tied you down
Thrown objects at you
Locked you out of the house
Abandoned you in dangerous places
Refused you help when you were sick, injured or pregnant
Subjected you to reckless driving
Threatened or hurt you with a weapon
Twisted or pulled your arm
Banged your head against a wall
Told anti-women jokes, made demeaning remarks about women, or treated women as sex objects
Became jealously angry, assuming you would have sex with any available man
Insisted you dress in a more sexual way than you wanted, or forced you to strip
Criticized you sexually
Insisted on unwanted and uncomfortable touching, or forced particular unwanted sex acts
Called you sexual names like “whore” or “frigid”
Publicly showed sexual interest in, or had affairs with other women
Forced sex with him or others, or forced you to watch others
Forced sex after beatings, or when you were sick, or it was a danger to your health
Forced sex for the purpose of hurting you with objects
Many victims of domestic violence choose not to leave, or cannot leave, an abusive relationship for an extended period of time. View the tips here to create a safer environment before your leave, and also click on Plan NOW to Be Safer After You Leave and Items You Need on the Haven Hills homepage. Domestic Violence is complicated by feelings of love and hope when the perpetrator apologizes and says the violence will never happen again. It is complicated by feelings of fear, intimidation, or threats. Every day battered women (and other victims of intimate partner abuse) make repeated attempts to leave violent relationships, but are prevented from doing so by increased violence and control tactics by the batterer. Consider these steps to be safer in the relationship; these steps cannot guarantee your safety, but they can help.
During the Relationship:
Always keep a phone where you know you can get to it. Know the numbers to call for help, such as 911, also 818.887.6589— the Haven Hills 24/7 CRISIS Line, and police, friends, and local shelter. Notice now where the nearest pay phones are in case you need to run out of the home without your cell phone.
If you sense a violent episode is about to happen, and it is safe to do so, disable or hide weapons.
The abuser may have a pattern to the abuse. Learn the pattern, be aware of all signs that the abuser is about to become violent so you can assess how dangerous the situation is for you and your children.
Make arrangements in advance to stay with someone you trust (that your partner does not know) in the event of an emergency.
Ask your neighbors now to immediately call 911 if they hear suspicious noises coming from your home
Which are the “safer places” inside your home? Figure our areas where there are no weapons. If it looks like the abuser is about to hurt you, try to get to one of these safer areas.
Open a savings account in your name only at a bank different from where your family’s other accounts are. Choose paperless/online statements so that on records of this account come to your home.
Never leave out any doodles or notes with shelter/bus/airline info
Follow the directions under Items You Need to make an Escape Kit and place it somewhere safe but accessible, NOT inside your home
If You Have Children:
Teach your children to call 911
Create a plan with your children for when violence happens. Instruct them not to get involved if the abuser is hurting you since that may get them hurt too.
Decide on a Code Word that you will say to let them know that they should leave the house and go get help. Also figure out with them in advance which is the safest place (such as a room with a lock and a phone) for them to go if the abuser will not let them leave the house. Tell them that their first priority is always to stay safe, not to physically protect you.
It is crucial that you have a plan to increase your safety and your children’s safety after you have left the abusive situation. Remaining safe after the relationship is as crucial as planning to leave.
If you are planning to leave, it is important that you put together as many of the following items in your Escape Kit, and place this kit somewhere safe that is NOT in your home. You will need:
Our Calendar page features national and international news of interest to everyone seeking to stop domestic violence, as well as select meetings and opportunities in the greater Southern California area
Use This Important Information to Keep Yourself Safer