THERE ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND NON-PROFIT RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO HELP IN A DOMESTIC ABUSE SITUATION. — It can be hard to know what do when leaving an abusive relationship. If you feel that you need to take extra steps to protect yourself, there are law enforcement resources and options available. The first is a no-contact order.
"No contact order is usually ordered from a prior criminal offense that has happened say a battery or something along those lines where a judge will say this suspect can't contact this person at their workplace within x amount of feet," said Jake Simon, Meridian Police Department.
In some cases a civil protection order may be more appropriate.
"Civil protection order is where someone goes to a judge. There hasn't been a crime that's occurred, but they explain a situation that is concerning to them and if a judge feels a protection order is warranted, they will issue that protection order and then it falls on us as a police department or the sheriffs department to serve so they know they can't contact whoever filed that."
Chris Davis with the Women's and Children's Alliance says nonprofits are also available to help. Davis says if someone feels unsafe and needs a place to stay, there are two shelters in the Treasure Valley with undisclosed locations.
The WCA also offers a safety planning program which is free to any man, woman, or child dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault.
"It's an individualized one on one safety planning session so you're going to look at your everyday things you do, where you go and you're going to look at how to keep yourself safe," said Davis.
Davis says one of the most vulnerable times is right after someone leaves an abusive relationship.
"It's all about power and control and if that control is removed, that abuser could still react and the root of an abusive relationship, is power and control and when that control is disrupted, that's when the relationship could potentially become violent because statistics tell us that's when homicides happen is when that person leaves the relationship and that control is removed."
"If you think something is not right and it just doesn't feel right then trust your gut. You can never be too careful and there is nothing to be ashamed of."
The safety planning program can be accessed by calling the WCA hotline at (208)343-7025 or going to the WCA office at the Ada County Courthouse. The WCA also offers weekly free support groups for any women over the age of 18.
For more information head to Women's & Children's Alliance