Safety on the Job and in Public
Remember to carefully select who you tell about the violence and who you choose to help. It is important to make sure the person is comfortable calling the police if your abuser shows up at work or finds you in public. This is also a safety issue for this person. As a victim of domestic violence, you may do any of the following to ensure the safety of yourself and your dependents:

  • Inform your employer or the security supervisor at work of your situation.
  • Ask a coworker to help you screen your calls at work.
  • When leaving work, ask security to walk you to your car.
  • Shop at different grocery stores and malls. Shop at hours that are different than those you normally use.
  • Use a different bank and bank at hours different from those you usually use.
  • Take different driving routes to places that you frequent.

Safety and Your Emotional Health
Being abused and verbally degraded can be exhausting and emotionally draining. The process of building a new life takes courage and energy. Consider these steps that you can take to conserve your energy and ease the emotional strain.

  • Think about the things you can tell yourself when you are considering returning to an abusive situation.
  • Educate yourself on domestic violence and ways to develop healthy relationships for the future.
  • Identify the red flags of an abusive relationship and always keep them in mind.
  • Consider books, magazines, internet self-help pages, etc. that you can read to make yourself stronger.
  • Attend support groups and/or individual therapy through a local domestic violence program in order to gain support and strengthen your relationships with other people.

Safety with an Order of Protection
You can never be certain whether an abuser will obey an Order of Protection or not. Recognize that you may need to ask the police or the courts to enforce your Order of Protection.

  • Keep your Order of Protection so that it will always be with you. It should be easily accessible in your purse, in the car, in your office, etc.
  • Make several copies of your Order of Protection in case it is requested by the police, your child’s school or a state agency.
  • File your Order of Protection with the court in other counties that you visit regularly.
  • Call your local domestic violence program if you are unsure of any of the steps listed here or if you are having problems regarding your Order of Protection.
  • If your Order of Protection is lost or stolen, you can get
    another copy from the Will County Courthouse by going to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at 14 W. Jefferson Street in Joliet, IL.
  • If your Order of Protection is violated, you should call the
    police immediately and file a report. Also, contact your attorney and/or advocate if you have one.
  • Once a police report is filed, you may also ask that a complaint be filed with the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office at 121 N. Chicago Street,
    Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.
  • The State could potentially charge your abuser with a violation of the Order of Protection and all the crimes that he commits in violating that order.

Safety and Drug or Alcohol Use
If your abuser uses drugs or alcohol, your risk for violence increases
significantly. If you use drugs or alcohol, your ability to react quickly and use sound judgment can be lessened. Additionally, your drug or alcohol use can be used against you in legal proceedings with your abuser by lessening your credibility.

  • Your abuser may use his drug or alcohol use as an excuse for “losing control” during an abusive incident.
  • Drug and alcohol use and abuse are never an excuse for violence. Rather, they are additional risk factors that may contribute to the frequency and severity of violence.
  • Keep friends that understand the risk of violence and who are committed to staying clean and sober and will help you stay safe.
  • If you think that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, contact a local treatment program to have an assessment completed.