Safety Tips

 Sacred Heart Family Services Women’s Shelter-24 hrs a day: 605-964-7233

Toll Free Crisis Line: 1-800-390-9298 


Characteristics of Abusers

  • jealousy
  • possessiveness
  • controlling behavior
  • isolation
  • blames others for problems and feelings
  • hypersensitivity- getting upset over things that don’t really matter
  • cruelty to animals or children

The abuser may use verbal abuse by calling you names, putting you down, or making fun of you. The abuser may have a history of being abusive, threatens you with violence, uses force to make you do things, too serious about the relationship too fast, blames you when he/she mistreats you saying it’s your fault, or you “make me do this to you”. Just remember, you are never responsible to how another acts or feels especially if it is compromising your mental health and/or physical safety

Safety Planning:

  • Who can help and where you can go: Friends, family, Sacred Heart Family Services Women’s Shelter, (Tribal and City) law enforcement.
  • What to bring: birth certificates, social security cards, license/identification cards, immunization records, keep extra set of keys, important numbers, Tribal ID or enrollment and clothing for a few days if possible.
  • How to respond to the abusers actions: Be conscious of places the perpetrator frequents (work schedule, favorite places to go, etc.) Plan what you would say and do if you came into contact with him or her.
  • Staying Safe: be aware of your surroundings– people and exits, keep house and car doors locked, have gas in the vehicle at all times, close curtains, establish a “code word” with others you can use so they know if you are in trouble, have a backup plan, keep in contact with organizations that are helping you, carry a noise maker (whistle), install motion sensor lights, change locks on house doors or install dead bolts.
  • Trust your instincts, if you don’t feel safe, call for help.
  • Read all you can about Domestic Violence. You are not alone. No one deserves to be hit.
  • Know your rights:
    • To live without fear of violence
    • To be treated with respect
    • To have and express your own feelings and opinions
    • To be listened to and taken seriously
    • To set your own priorities
    • To say “no” without guilty feelings
    • To ask for what you want without reprisal
    • To get what you pay for
    • To ask for information from professionals
    • To make mistakes like everyone else
    • To have your needs met