According to a 2000 report from the National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every four women in this country will suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their husband or boyfriend. Very few will tell anyone—not a friend, a relative, a neighbor or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life—all cultures, income levels, ages and religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear and shame.
If you are abused
There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
- Leave. If you believe that you and your children are in immediate danger, go to a battered women’s shelter. Call crisis hotlines like the Eagan Lewis House at 651-452-7288 or Hastings at 651-437-1291 to locate a shelter or call Day One Minnesota – Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111.
- Call the local police or sheriff. Assault, even by family members, is a crime.
- Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action.
- Contact Dakota County Family Court for information about a civil protection order. Call Apple Valley at 952-891-7236, West St. Paul at 651-554-6200 or Hastings at 651-438-8110.
For more information on domestic violence, see the Dakota County Attorney’s Office The Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence brochure (Spanish) or Confronting Domestic Violence.