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What is domestic Violence?

Domestic violence includes all kinds of physical, sexual and psychological violence within all kinds of intimate relationships. The most serious violence is committed on women by their intimate male partners. There also exists violence committed by women on men, within the homosexual / lesbian relationships or among generations in family. Domestic violence is manipulating behaviour as it destroyes thousands of lifes.

Domestic violence finds its victims regardless of their social status, age, sex, race, nationality, handicaps or life style. Violence can start any time – in a new relationship or after many years of common life.

Domestic violence is rarely the unique situation. Usually physical and sexual abuse become more frequent and more cruel by the passing time. Sometimes it can stop too late - at the latest moment , when one person is killed by the other one. The other forms of violence or manupulating behaviour can last for very long time. This circle of violence must be recognised and stopped!

Domestic violence is more frequent than people do think. When you do not have the personal experience, you can meet someone, who has to face domestic violence.

Non-stop DONA helpline for victims of domestic violence: 2 51 51 13 13

To people from the victims environment

It is difficult to recognize what is going on behind close door because it is not easy to find the courage to say: „I am a domestic violent victim. My partner vilifies me, beats me, and threatens me“. The motivation to this step is often fear for health and life of the victim and children.
Overcoming fear and obedience is often very difficult for the victim therefore they need help and support from outside. But victim must make the decision itself, no one can force them. Way out, starting pint can be offered from the helpless situation, support can be promised as well as help but victim cannot be decided for.
Domestic violence solution is neither easy nor fast. The situation can be temporarily deteriorated and many new problems come out and need to be solved. Once the victim decides to do something with their life, it is very important to take the decision to the very end – to life without violence.

Three steps that person who is living in a violent relationship can do:
1. admit what is going on
2. recognize it is not their fault
3. seek help and support

Sentences that can help the victim to start solving the situation:
· I am feared for your safety.
· I am feared for the safety, health and life of your children.
· It is going to get worse and worse unless you do something bout it.
· We will help you as soon as you find the courage to the first step.
· You deserve a better life.

There are main rules for dealing with domestic violence victim:

Explain there are many other people in the same situation. Admit that the victim needed much courage to share their problem with domestic violence with you. Give time enough to the victim to speak their story. Do not force them to give detail if they do not fell like it.

Tell them no one deserves to be threatened or beaten regardless what the violent person says. Be a good listener; encourage the victim to express anger, pain and other emotions.

The freedom of decision
Let the victim make their decision. Even though it can mean that at this stage they are not ready to leave the relationship.

Perfect knowledge of the victim’s situation
Ask the victim if they suffered some injury. Offer them accompaniment to the hospital if they need to go there. Help them report the attack at the police if they decide to do so.

Information about accessible help
Explore possibilities together. If the victim is ready to get divorced, report the crime etc. Go and see the advocate together.

Safety plan
The plan makes it easier to decide what is safe and what is not. Do not force the victim to follow some plan they do not trust.

Your safety
Do not get exposed to dangerous situations: do not try to speak with the violent person. Do not allow that the violent person perceives you as threat.
You can offer your address for information or messages.

The executive board of Bílý Kruh Bezpečí grants permission to use and distribute materials placed on this website by course of law 121/2000 Sb., Copyright Act, on condition that the copies will only be used for noncommercial informative purpose, the writing will be neither modified or changed, the graphic components (graphs and charts) will be neither copied or distributed separately from related text and vice-versa. "Copyright Bílý kruh bezpečí, z.s." must be visibly stated on every copy.

Approved by the Executive board of Bílý kruh bezpečí, z.s. 21.4.2007