Find Help

Phone Numbers to Know

Police Departments (throughout Wilkes County) 

911

SAFE's 24-hour Confidential Crisis Line 

 (336) 838-SAFE (7233)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) toll free 

National Sexual Assault Hotline 

1-800-656-HOPE (8255) toll free 

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 

1-866-331-9474 toll free 

National Suicide Prevention Helpline 

 1-800-273-TALK (8255) toll free

 
 

Are YOU in an Abusive Relationship? Take Our Quiz and Find Out

 
Does your partner… 
    • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
    • Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?
    • Take your money, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
    • Make all the decisions?
    • Destroy your property or threaten to hurt your pets?
    • Harass you at your job?
    • Yell at you?
    • Scare you?
    • Threaten you?
    • Hurt or threaten to take your children?
    • Tell you everything is your fault, or even deny hurting you?
    • Stop you from seeing or talking to family and friends?
    • Punch, slap, shove, grab, bite, kick, strangle or hit you?
    • Get angry easily when drinking or using drugs?
    • Threaten to commit suicide?
    • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
    • Force you to have sex?
    • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
    • Force you to drop legal charges or restraining orders?
    • Apologize, promise to do better, then hurt you all over again?
If you answered "yes" to even one question, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you are the victim of abuse, please know that it is NEVER your fault. You have the right to live a peaceful life, free of fear. Please call SAFE's Crisis Line at (336) 838-SAFE (7233) to speak with a trained advocate. We're here to listen and help you with:
    • Options
    • Connections
    • Support
You can call us anytime, 24 hours a day. This service is free, and you do not have to give your name.
 

Cycle of Violence Graphic 

 
 

Are You Planning to Leave? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Stay Safe

 
    • Keep money, extra clothing, medication and copies of important documents with someone you trust.
    • Items you may need when you go:
      • Driver's license and registration
      • Social Security cards
      • Birth certificates
      • School and vaccination records
      • Medical records and medication
      • Work permit, green card
      • Passport
      • Insurance records
      • Marriage certificate, divorce papers, Domestic Violence Protective Order
      • Bank books, credit and debit cards
      • Copy of all court orders (protective orders; custody agreements; separation, divorce papers)
      • Cell phone, address book
      • Important sentimental items (photos, jewelry, etc.)
      • Comfort items for your children
    • Hide money and extra keys in your car.
    • Even if you only save a little bit every week, put aside some money of your own and keep it in a safe place.  
    • Keep SAFE’s 24-hour confidential crisis line number, (336) 838-SAFE (7233), handy.
    • Decide now where you will go if you need to leave in a hurry.
    • Teach your children how and when to call ‘911’ in case of an emergency. Practice an escape plan.
    • Tell a neighbor about your situation, and ask them to call police if they see or hear anything suspicious at your home.
    • Develop your support network. Do you have family, friends, a church family, classmates or co-workers who can help?
    • Call us at (336) 838-SAFE (838-7233) to discuss your situation with a trained advocate. 

Click here to view some special tips about how to stay safe in a rural area.

 

A Step-by-Step Safety Plan

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you take your life back. You have a choice about how you respond to your abuser’s demands, and the steps you take to stay safe. The decision to escape, or even seek help, is completely within your own hands.

Don't go it alone! Know that your friends, family and co-workers can help. Let them know what’s happening to you, and seek their support and advice.

Print out the nine items below and write down the steps you’ll need. Then destroy the printout once you’ve memorized it.

To increase my safety, I can do some or all of the following:
  1. When I have to talk to my abuser in person, I can: _____________________
  2. When I talk to my abuser on the phone, I can: _____________________
  3. I will make up a “code word” for my family, co-workers, or friends, so they know when to call for help for me. My code word is: _____________________
  4. When I feel a fight coming on, I will try to move to a place that is lowest risk for getting hurt such as: _____________________
  5. I can use an answering machine or ask my co-workers, friends or other family members to screen my calls and visitors. I have the right to not receive harassing phone calls. I can ask: _____________________ to help screen (home) (work) my phone calls.
  6. I can keep change for phone calls with me at all times. I can call any of the following people for assistance or support if necessary and can ask them to call the police if they see my abuser bothering me.
    • friend:
    • relative:
    • co-worker:
    • counselor:
    • shelter:
    • other:
  7. When leaving work I can: _____________________________________
  8. When walking, riding or driving home, if problems occur, I can:
  9. Telephone numbers I need to know:
    • Police/Sheriffs Department:
    • Probation Officer:
    • Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program:
    • Counselor:
    • Clergy Person:
    • Attorney:
    • Other:

 Information provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

 

Ways to Stay Safe After You Move Out

    • Keep your cell phone ready and on you at all times.
    • Get a protective order and keep it on you at all times. Provide copies to your employer, your child's school and anyone who takes care of your child. Click here for more information about how to get a protective order.
    • Learn about your legal rights. If you have a domestic violence protective order, keep it with you at all times. Visit our legal options page for more information about how the legal system can help you.
    • Tell neighbors, friends, your landlord, and your co-workers that your abuser no longer lives with you. Tell them what to do if your abuser comes around. If your former partner is dangerous, be sure they know to call 911 right away.
    • Change the locks on your doors. Improve your home's security by trimming back bushes, installing motion-detecting outdoor lighting, etc.
    • Tell everyone who cares for your children who is and is not allowed to pick them up.
    • Change your routines and use different stores and restaurants.

 

Internet Safety Tips

Take precautions to keep an abuser from tracking your internet activities: 

  • Your safest option is to use a computer that your abuser cannot access.  Use a computer at work, a friend's house or the local public library. 
  • Change your password often.
  • Do not pick obvious words or numbers for your password, and make sure to include a combination of letters and numbers for your password.
  • If your browser has a "private browsing" option, use it. 
  • If your browser doesn't have a "private browsing" option, follow the instructions below to clear your browsing history. 

  

Are You Being Stalked? Steps You Can Take To Stay Safe

Here are some general tips about how to handle stalking situations. You can find more information at the National Stalking Resource Center. For advice on how to handle your particular situation, please call us at (336) 838-SAFE (7233). We're here to help.

  • Clearly tell your stalker to stay away. Beyond this, never talk to a stalker. 
  • Don't worry about being nice. Setting firm personal boundaries on someone’s erratic or obsessive behavior is not rude. There is no good way to "let down" a stalker.
  • Take threats seriously. Your risk is higher when your stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when you try to leave or end a relationship.
  • Contact the police if stalking behaviors continue. Stalking is a crime in North Carolina.
  • If you need emergency help, call 911 immediately.
  • Get a restraining order to order the stalker to stay away from you. SAFE can help you get a restraining order. Find out more on our Legal Options page.
  • If you have a restraining order, make several copies. Carry a copy with you at all times and share with your workplace and your children's school.
  • Document all incidences of stalking, including telephone calls and e-mails. Log the date, time, place and particulars of the incident. Save written threats, voice messages and anything else that could be considered evidence. Saving this information will help to document the behavior for restraining order applications, divorce and child custody cases, and criminal prosecution. It can also help preserve your memory of individual incidents about which you might later testify.
  • Vandalism and animal abuse can be signs of stalking. Document any incidences.
  • Note any pattern of “coincidental” contacts that might indicate you are being followed or tracked. If your stalker starts bumping into you like this, vary your regular routine.
  • Use trusted people---friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. ---to help. They can screen your calls, get your mail, keep an eye on your house, and let law enforcement know if your stalker shows up. Don’t be embarrassed. Remember, you’re the victim, not the criminal. Let people know how they can help you, and be sure to tell them not to share any information about you with your stalker.
  • Change your phone number and e-mail address. Release your new contact information only to people you trust on a ‘need to know’ basis. You can always keep your old number and use it to collect evidence of your harassment.
  • If your stalker has had access to your computer, it may be infected with spyware and a keystroke logger that allows your stalker to monitor your online activities and e-mail. Spyware can be transmitted through e-mail and links. Be sure your security software is up to date. If you’re afraid that your computer isn’t safe, use a friend's computer or a computer in a public place. Click here to learn more about computer safety.
  • Replace any cell phone your stalker has accessed. Cell phones with GPS capability can be used by stalkers to track victims.
  • Don’t respond to spoof e-mails and phone calls designed to elicit your contact information.
  • Report all abuse on Facebook or other social networking sites. Use strict privacy settings to control who can see your information. Click here to learn more about how to report abuse on Facebook.
  • Permanently or selectively block caller ID. *67 will block caller ID on a per call basis. Call your phone service provider to permanently block your line. You can also choose to block anonymous calls and use caller ID to screen which calls you will accept. 
  • Contact your phone service provider about a call trace or call trap if you are receiving repeated harassing phone calls or hang ups. To report telephone harassment, call the Unlawful Call Center at (800) 518-5507.
  • If you move to escape abuse, you can use the N.C. address confidentiality program to keep your address secure. Your first-class mail will be sent to an address chosen by the Attorney General's office. Your mail is then forwarded to your home address, which will be kept secret. You can also use the substitute address to register to vote, get a driver license, or sign up for utilities like water and electricity. Please call SAFE at (336) 838-SAFE (7233) for more information on this option. 
 
 
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