An individual does not need to be in shelter to receive Womanshelter/Compañeras services. Womanshelter/Compañeras offers a wide range of support and advocacy services, including safety planning (which may include distribution of a 911 programmed cell phone), indiviual counseling, and support groups. Advocates can provide help with housing issues and financial concerns.
Womanshelter/Compañeras believes in the empowerment model, which means that we provide the support, information and resources for people to make their own choices.
Womanshelter/Compañeras can help
Intimate partner violence affects families and workplaces in every community throughout the United States. Victims of this violence feel isolated and alone, but Womanshelter/Compañeras offers expert and compassionate assistance during these difficult times.
The following behaviors are common in abusive or violent personalities. The more signs a person has, the more likely the person is abusive or a batterer. Usually these behaviors are explained by saying that they are signs of love and concern. This can be flattering at first. However, as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe, exaggerated, and more harmful.
Jealousy: Jealousy is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. An abuser will question his or her partner about communications with another person, or will accuse the partner of flirting or spending time with someone else.
Controlling behavior: At first the batterer will excuse controlling behavior by saying that he or she is just concerned for the partner’s safety. As it gets progressively worse, the abuser begins getting unreasonably angry about the partner being “late” returning from the store or an appointment, and begins questioning every little thing-who did she talk to, where did she stop, etc.
Quick involvement: Many victims of battering dated or knew their abuser less than six months before they were engaged or began living together. It is like a whirl-wind as the new partner says things like “it’s love at first sight” or I’ve never felt love like this with anyone”, or “You’re the only person I can talk to”. Out of desperation, a controlling person will often look for quick commitment.
Unrealistic expectations: An abuser will often depend on a partner to meet all of his or her needs and expect perfection in all roles. A women may be expected to be the perfect wife, mother, lover, and friend. The abuser may say things like “I’m all you need”, or “You’re all I need”, and talk about disappointment when all his or her emotional needs are not met. “You would if you loved me” becomes a typical refrain.
Isolation: The abuser tries to cut the partner off from all resources to increase dependency on the relationship. He or she may try to keep the partner from getting or keeping a job, going back to school, or using the car or the phone. A woman who has male friends may be called a “whore” by the abuser, or if she has female friends a male abuser may call her a “lesbian”. If she tries to stay close to family members, she may be accused of “clinging to apron strings”.
Blames others for problems: Whatever the problems, they are always someone else’s fault. Someone is “doing him wrong” or “out to get her”. The abuser tries to blame the partner for almost anything that goes wrong.
Blames others for feelings: An abuser may say things like”You made me mad”, or “You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask,” or “ I can’t control my anger when you do that.”
Hypersensitivity: He or she is easily insulted or hurt at even the slightest things. Everything is taken as a personal attack, and small matters will cause ranting and raving.
Cruelty to animals or children: The person may be insensitive to the needs of animals or children, and expects children to be capable of doing things beyond their ability. For example, he or she may whip a two-year-old for wetting a diaper.
“Playful” use of force in sex: The abusive person may like to throw the partner down and restrain her during sex, and use anger or otherwise manipulate her into sex.
Verbal abuse: In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel or hurtful, the person will degrade the partner and any accomplishments, saying things like “You’re nothing without me” and making insults.
Past battering: The abuser may admit that he or she hit a partner in the past, but that it was the partner’s fault, or a friend or family member of the abuser may say that the person has battered partners in the past.
Threats of violence: This includes any threat of physical force meant to control the partner, like “I’ll slap you across the room,” or “I’ll kill you,” or “I’ll break your neck.”
Breaking or striking objects: This behavior is used to terrorize the partner into submission.
Any force during an argument: This may involve physical restraint like pinning against the wall, or not letting the person leave a room or the house. It may also include pushing or shoving.
Frequent displays of weapons: Consistent display or handling of weapons, constant cleaning or touching of weapons, “playful” pointing of guns or weapons (particularly after an argument) are actions that are used to intimidate.