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
One of the biggest traits of any abuser is the need to establish control and dominance. If you can’t get help in the midst of things, or you can’t get away, wait until things are relatively calm and offer to order a pizza… or any kind of service that requires a phone call and shows your submission. Instead of calling for service, call the police. When they let you know they aren’t a pizza place, simply say “I know,” and keep going with the order. They’ll get the hint that something is wrong and dispatch an officer.
Crying and even silence can instigate the abuser, while they may try to stop you from screaming. Not only that, but neighbors don’t always respond to screams. In fact, one woman reported that although the neighbors would call the police when the music was too loud, when she screamed for help while getting beaten in the front yard, no one said or did anything.
Tip: If you can’t find a reason to call anyone without making things worse, covertly dial 911 and leave the phone or hang up after they answer. Dispatchers send out officers when they get a prank call on 911. You can also label the dispatch number in your phone under another name so you don’t have to punch in numbers. Use a name that starts with an “A” so it’s one of the first in your contacts.