Employee & Community Health

Your Care Team asks: 'Do you feel safe in your personal relationships?'

10/5/2015 by Summer Berg, LICSW

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Do you feel safe in your personal relationships? According to the 2010 Summary Report form the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, many American's don't. Nearly three in 10 women and one in 10 men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one other form of abuse in that relationship. 

"Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These are behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want," says the National Domestic Violence Hotline. "Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time."

We're here to help 

"When you come to the clinic for any reason, a member of your Care Team may say, 'Unfortunately, violence and abuse often play a role in our families and communities, so I am asking all of my patients about violence,'" says Summer Berg, licensed social worker in Employee and Community Health. 

If you're experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please talk with us. We're here to help you!

If you are feeling unsafe in your home, here are some strategies Berg suggest you consider: 

  • Talk to trusted friends, family, neighbors, colleagues or medical providers to discuss the situation and see how they may be able to help. 
  • Keep a small amount of cash available for emergencies. 
  • Make copies of important keys (house, car) and keep them in a safe place. 
  • Create an emergency bag that includes copies of important documents (birth certificate, social security card, insurance card). 

"We can also help you develop a safety plan, notify law enforcement if you want to report your abuser and provide counseling," Berg says. "And we also can recommend resources that may be of help to you, including a local women's shelter or Victim Services." 

For hotline and online support contact. 

Summer Berg, LICSW, is a licensed social worker in Employee and Community Health.