(ModernSurvival.org) – In an Abusive Situation at Home, What is the Fastest Way to Get Help Without Making Things Worse?
- Stay Silent
- Order Pizza
- Scream Loudly
Answer: Order Pizza, Here’s why…
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, from large-scale disasters to more personal threats at home, such as domestic abuse. When trouble erupts in the household, calling the police isn’t always an option. A violent abuser may go over the edge if they believe their victim is trying to turn them in or escape the situation. This is exactly why it may become necessary to order a pizza instead.
Order a Pizza?
When in a situation where one cannot speak to the police without tipping off an abuser, pretending to order a pizza is one way to make the call without them knowing. When the operator picks up, they will likely be put off by the pizza order, but this will provide a way to give the police an address and stealthily let them know something is wrong.
Getting an address to law enforcement is incredibly important, especially if calling from a cell phone. Mobile phones are harder to trace than landline phones, which is why getting an address to the dispatcher is vital — and why using a pizza order is the perfect disguise. When the operator picks up, quickly stating, “I need a pizza delivery to (insert address)” will make sure they know where to send officers, just in case the call gets cut short.
Don’t Give Up
There is a good chance the dispatcher will be confused by receiving a pizza order, as this isn’t an official code for a domestic abuse scenario. Even if they seem to think there has been a mistake, do not give up until they catch on.
For example, if the operator says you have reached 9-1-1 and not a pizza place (for example), replying with, “Yes, I understand. I need a pepperoni pizza,” can help them to figure out this isn’t a prank call. Get creative to make the point that something is wrong and help is needed.
One way to tip off the operator that something is amiss is by speaking quietly into the phone. Most dispatchers recognize whispers as a sign that something is wrong. Unfortunately, whispering into the phone can also make the abuser suspicious.
If calling for pizza is out of the question, covertly dial 9-1-1 and leave the phone on so that the dispatcher can hear the disturbance in progress. If they can trace the call, this will give them the time to do so.
Although this next tip isn’t available in all areas, another option is to text 9-1-1. This is a silent option that provides a way to ask for help without making a phone call. In areas that don’t support text messages to law enforcement, an auto reply will be sent indicating the error.
Domestic violence situations aren’t the only time that one may need emergency services called to their home. When facing a home invasion, the police need to be contacted quickly so they can arrest the intruder. For information on how to prepare for this scenario, check out our article on how to prepare your family for a home invasion.
~Here’s to Your Survival!