DOMESTIC

VIOLENCE

HAVIN is a dual center, meaning that we provide services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault AND their significant others.

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that some individuals use to control their intimate partners. Domestic violence can include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and other controlling behaviors.

  • hit, kick, shove, or injure you?

  • use weapons/objects against you or threaten to?

  • force or coerce you to engage in unwanted sexual acts?

  • threaten to hurt you or others, have you deported, disclose your sexual orientation or other personal information?

  • control what you do and who you see in a way that interferes with your work, education or other personal activities?

  • steal or destroy your belongings? constantly criticize you, call you names or put you down? make you feel afraid?

  • deny your basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, or medical and physical assistance?

Does your partner ever...

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, it may be time to think about your safety.
It Can Happen To Anyone

Domestic violence is a serious problem that has been happening for centuries. In the U.S., each year it affects millions of people, most often women. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of employment or educational level, race or ethnic background, religion, marital status, physical ability, age, or sexual orientation.

It Is Not Your Fault

If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are common responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. But no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner's abusive actions. Abusers choose to be abusive. No one deserves to be abused.

Love is not ABUSE.
Identifying Support

Developing a support network can be very helpful to you as you plan for safety. There can be many places to turn to for assistance.

Community Support - Friends, family, women's and community groups, churches, and service providers (such as legal, health, counseling centers) can provide a variety of resources, support, and assistance.
Domestic Violence Centers - In Armstrong County, HAVIN provides free and confidential services to individuals who are being abused. Information about finding/using these services are below.

Legal Options

Criminal Charges - If you or other loved ones have been physically injured, threatened, raped, harassed, or stalked, you can report these crimes to the police. Criminal charges may lead to your abuser being arrested and possibly imprisoned.

Protection from Abuse Orders - Even if you don't want to press criminal charges, you can file for a civil court order that directs your partner to stay away from you. In Pennsylvania, protection from abuse orders can also evict your partner from your home, grant child custody, and/or ban him/her from having weapons.

PLANNING FOR SAFETY

Without help, domestic violence often continues to get more severe over time. It can sometimes become deadly.

To increase your safety:

  • Tell others you trust such as friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, what is happening and talk about ways they might be able to help.

  • Memorize emergency numbers for the local police (such as 911), support persons and crisis hotlines.

  • Identify escape routes and places to go if  you need to flee from an unsafe situation quickly.

  • Talk with your children about what they should do if a violent incident occurs or if they are afraid.

  • Put together an emergency bag with money/checkbooks, extra car keys, medicine, and important papers such as birth certificates, social security cards, immigration documents, and medical cards. Keep it somewhere safe and accessible, such as with a trusted friend.

  • Trust your instincts - if you think you are in immediate danger, you probably are. Get to a safe place as soon as you can.

Abusers choose to be abusive.
No one deserves to be abused.

FINDING SAFETY AND SUPPORT

24-hour hotline:
724-548-8888
1-800-841-8881

24-Hour Hotline: Staff available 24/7 to provide support and help talk you through your options. Helpline is available to anyone who needs help in Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking situations. Help is available to all survivors, their friends & family, and providers any time of the day or night.

Safe Housing: housing options for those fleeing home for safety reasons.

Counseling: HAVIN advocates can provide individual and group sessions at our secure Kittanning site, or by phone.

Support through Systems: Advocates can help victims/survivors navigate the civil and criminal justice systems. Accompaniment offered to victims/survivors Protection from Abuse proceedings, criminal and civil proceedings & appointments with legal representation. Legal advocates help to ensure victims' safety and rights are protected within the court system. Medical advocacy and accompaniment are provided to the hospital, to the Police station if a statement is needed and to other social service appointments.

Information and Referral: Support offered to connect you with resources in the community based on your identified needs.

Support with Transportation: Transportation offered from a secure location including to safe house and other social service, and medical and legal appointments.

Outreach and Education Programs: Prevention and educational programs available to schools, churches, community and civic organizations.