The Plan for Student Survivors of Domestic Violence
Here are several things you can do to help yourself and/or your family.
Make an Emotional Plan
• This is not your fault! No one deserves to be treated in an abusive way!
• Seek outside help in a support group or in counseling. Talk to your student counseling center or call the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238 (v/tty) to find help near you.
• Share your emotional issues with a trusted friend. It is important to have a good support system to get through this.
• Abusers will often isolate their victims; reach out to friends and family you may have not connected with in a while.
Make an Economic Plan - if you live together. Try to save small amounts of money; keep them in a safe place like a safety deposit box or a family or friends.
• Open your own savings account; if you live together, do not have the statements sent to your home; get a P.O. Box or pick them up at the bank.
• Leave some extra money at a family member's or friend's home.
• If you want to try and stay in school, ask the student counseling center if they can refer you to offices that can help you get through tough semesters, or withdraw from classes so you can begin again later.
• If possible get a part time or full time job—check out student employment opportunities.
• Identify family members or friends who could lend temporary financial support.
• Consider taking out extra student loans to help pay for a new apartment.
• Investigate student housing options—emergency loans and housing are sometimes available.
Make a Home/Date Safety Plan : If you feel your life is in immediate danger:
• Call the police , 911
• Get rid of or hide knives and guns or unload all guns
• Avoid arguments in the kitchen as this is the most dangerous room in the house
• Avoid going on long trips alone with your partner
• Tell your RA/roommates about the situation
• Arrange for double dates—if possible try not to be alone with your partner
• If the abuser also lives in your residence hall, try to get transferred into another building, switch rooms etc—ask the student counseling center if they can assist in facilitating the transfer
• Try to let friends, roommates and RAs know where you are going and when you should be back—check-in with them while you're out
• If your abuser has a copy of your key, request that they return it to you, or change your locks
Prepare an overnight bag ahead a time:
If you live with her/him: Include keys, emergency phone numbers, money for calls or a prepaid calling card, a change of clothes for you and your kids (if you have children), and medications
• Don't forget important documents such as birth certificates, resident cards, social security cards, student loan info and schedules
• Arrange for pets to stay at a friends or a kennel
• Arrange for a safe place to leave your school supplies, such as a trusted friends' place, the locked trunk of your car, etc.
Prepare an emergency date escape pack ahead of time!
If you are dating her/him:
• Include keys, emergency phone numbers, money for calls or a prepaid calling card , money for taxis, pepper spray and a whistle.
• Carry as many forms of ID as possible, license, state, school etc.
Seek Legal Protection Under the Law
• Call the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238 (v/tty) to find a domestic violence court advocate near you and to discuss the benefits of asking for a Protective Order.
• Do NOT try to mediate with your abuser
When you feel threatened:
If you live with her/him:
• If you have kids, alert your children with a pre-arranged signal to get dressed and stand by the door.
• Grab your prepared overnight bag
• Find safe temporary shelter until you are sure you can safely reenter your home.
• Seek medical treatment when needed.