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Finding Help for Victims of Domestic Violence

Finding Help
Sometimes providing safety and security for your family may require a radical change in your living situation. This is a guide about finding help for victims of domestic violence.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 19, 20120 found this helpful

I am 23 years old and have an 18 month old daughter. I am living with my daughter's father who is 45. I know it sounds crazy, but I loved him at some point. We have been together for almost 4 years now.

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The problem is he is an alcoholic and day by day it's getting worse. He abuses me verbally every day and sometimes he hits me. Once my family took him to the police and now he doesn't respect my family for that. I am scared every day because I think he is going to hit me again. He realised that I am scared of him and now when he is drunk he breaks glasses close to me, slams the door and says the only place I should be is where am scared.

Please help me. I am Kenyan and living in Germany, I want to go to the authorities, but I can't speak any German which makes it hard to communicate. I think he knows that too, that I can't communicate well with people. Please help me and my daughter out of this relationship.

annonymous

By A.H.S

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

You may have options through your embassy-you can contact them online just as you have contacted this site online, simply Google "Kenya embassy Germany locations" (omit the quotation marks) to find the closest consulate to you.

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Presumably you are in German on a spouse visa, and it is possible Germany has provisions within their immigration laws to assist visa holders who are being victimised by their sponsor (husband or wife) citizen. Check the immigration website to see.

I'm in the UK, we do have a domestic violence assistance programme for visa holders. For yours and your child's sake, I hope the same is true in Germany.

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Go the the police, they will have interpreters!

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Most German Police officers speak English. Did you write this? Give it to the police officer. They can read it and get you help.

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Please get out of that house, stay with your family or friends. Your daughter doesn't need to see or hear this growing up. Plus NO woman deserves to be treated like this. The longer you stay in this relationship, the worst it will get.

End it now. Go to the police, they can help, Don't give up. Are there any shelters for abuse women in your area. Seek them too. Go to your Embassy, talk to them. Remember you are not only doing this for you, you are doing this for your daughter. You might not realize it, it will make a difference. You wouldn't want your daughter to grow up thinking this is fine to live this way.

So leave before things gets worst. Take this from someone who has been there. After leaving, yes you will wonder if you did right, but give it time, and you will wonder why you put up with so much. Plus you will be glad that you left.

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Please note that English is the compulsory second language at schools in Germany, meaning that anybody who attended school after approx. 1950 has had several years of English at school (anywhere from 5-10 years). Virtually all people who did not have English at school in Germany are either retired or are immigrants like yourself (but from a country where they were not taught English).

Judging by your post on this website, you seem to be fluent in English, so this should not be a problem for you. You can go to the police yourself, too, and ask for protection. Alternatively, or additionally, consider locating a "Frauenhaus" (women's shelter), a institution for abused women and children that provides shelter, help and protection.

The phone number of Germany's Central Information Office of Autonomous Women's Shelters is 0228 / 68 46 95 04 and 0228 / 68 46 95 05.

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Alternatively, enter the FIRST TWO DIGITS of your postal code (Postleitzahl) next to "Suche starten" at http://www.frau  /index.php?id=14

This will provide you with a list of women's shelters in your region.

At the above website, you may also enter your language of choice instead of the postal code. Entering "englisch" (please note the German spelling with SCH) and clicking "Suche starten" elicits a list of 250 women's shelters in Germany that speak English, most likely one of them is going to be not all that far from you.

In any case, any one of those shelter would be able to point you in the right direction how to locate the nearest shelter. Once you click on the listed shelter's name, you are presented with contact information (email address and phone number). Please note that the street addresses of the shelters are NOT published since their operators take great caution to prevent the abusers from locating the shelters where the victims of domestic violence and abuse might have sought refuge.

In my humble opinion, a women's shelter would be your safest and best bet to get out of this situation as soon as possible and thereby avoid any further physical and mental harm to both you and your daughter.

As a last resort, contact your embassy (http://www.embassy-of-kenya.de/) at 030 / 25 92 66 - 0 or 030 / 25 92 66 - 11. Their emergency number after office hours is 0170 / 56 53 817. Their email address is office@embassy-of-kenya.de

I think, you would be better off (in terms of getting out of your current situation sooner rather than later) by seeking refuge at a women's shelter. Once that has been taken care of, you can then contact the embassy for further assistance.

If you have some spare funds at hand, consider picking up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. Typically, you will get the best prices at ALDI, LIDL or PLUS discount grocery stores, but at this point virtually any cheap contract-free phone will do. Make sure your husband does not find the phone and does not become aware of the fact that you have one.

This phone can serve as your life line to the rest of the world and will allow you to communicated with a shelter or the embassy without leaving any traces on your regular phone bill which would otherwise send a big red flag to him. Obviously, you will have to remember to keep it on silent or even turned off at all times while he is around so that the ringing or buzzing won't tip him off to its existence.

Also, if you are using a computer that he also has access to, make sure you put your web browser in "private" mode so that it does not leave any traces for him, otherwise a quick search of the web history might tip him off to what you are up to.

The shelter will also be able to help you to deal with the "Ausländerbehörde" / "Ausländeramt" (foreigner's office) which handles all issues involving foreigners who (want to) reside in their area of jurisdiction. (I am working from the assumption here that you are living in Germany on a spouse's visa since the citizenship test includes a proficiency section to assure that you are reasonably fluent in German).

Wishing you and your daughter the best of luck.

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

These are excellent answers for you. I was going to suggest that you look up English to German translation on the computer, then enter whatever you want to say in English and the German translation will be provided for you. Then you could copy it onto paper and take that in to the police.

Ich bin angst vor mein Mann und angst, dass er mir und meinem kind schaden konnte. Ich will raus aus dieser Ehe.

Good luck and God bless you and your daughter.

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March 19, 20140 found this helpful

I have no clue where to start, but here goes. I'm 33 years old living in a studio apartment in a very tiny town. I've been here in this area and on my own since October. Prior to moving in here I was in a domestic violence shelter about 45 minutes from here for 3 months. My time was up there and I decided to come here to this area where no one really knew me so I could start over.

I had money saved up for deposits, etc. and it went smoothly at first. I have a few family members here, but no one is in a position to help me or they have already helped me. I thought it would be easy to find a job here to get back on my feet, but I was wrong. I've not had any luck finding anything permanent. I searched day and night on foot for jobs with no luck. I've been able to clean a few houses here and there to help me pay my rent and live day to day.

I've fallen so far behind on my rent the property manager called me Friday and told me she was going to the courthouse to file a retainer warrant for eviction Monday if I wasn't able to make a payment of some sort. I've called all the local churches and community action agencies along with 211 and the Salvation Army and no one wants to help or they have only been able to help with a small amount. I'm a little over $1000.00 behind and I don't know what I'm going to do if they evict me.

I could go back to the town where my situation started, but my abuser is still not behind bars. So I feel like I'm in a lose/lose situation! My landlord-property manager has worked with me as much as she can or her boss would let her. Can someone please point me in the right direction of help? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

By LL from Kingston TN

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March 19, 20140 found this helpful

There are never many full time job openings in small towns. Do you have a social worker/welfare worker with the Department of Social Services/Welfare Office? If you do they should know of someplace for you to go. There is a possibility you will have to be in a homeless shelter for awhile. Getting a little bit of help at a time isn't going to do you any good. You have to be able to get on your feet.

I don't know what you mean by a little town. Everybody is going to have their own opinion of what is little. In the state that I live in the businesses in small towns just don't have full time employees unless it is people that have worked there for many, many years, and then the managers/owners.

Actually in larger towns, a lot of the jobs are part time, unless a person has some kind of skill. That being said, if your abuser is determined enough he can find you where you are at too. I don't know how to tell you to go about getting on your feet. That is more or less something a person has to figure out for themselves. You are lucky if you have been able to get help from churches because they, just like the Salvation Army, and other non-profits have limited funds to help people and there are getting to be more and more people needing help.

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March 21, 20140 found this helpful

cCheck with churches, senior centers, etc and ask if anyone has a room to "rent" you in exchange for a service (daycare, cleaning, gardening, etc) or if they can point you in the right direction. The poor economy makes it difficult for people to give cash, but they may have an empty room and need something in return.

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