A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

ACFJ Domestic Violence Flyer — with tear-off hotline numbers & our URL

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Ladies restrooms are ideal places to provide information about domestic abuse, as victims can access the information without their abusers knowing about it. One of our team was recently given the opportunity to place information about domestic abuse in the ladies restrooms at the church she attends. So we created flyers which have tear-offs at the bottom that can be taken by a woman and discreetly hidden if necessary.

We want to make these flyers available to our readers, and encourage you to distribute them. The flyers contain the contact information for ACFJ along with a national domestic violence hotline phone number.  To accommodate different national DV hotlines we have made four flyers for the countries: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.  If you would like a flyer for an additional country, provide us with that country’s DV national hotline and we will make one for you.

DV Flyer:  Australia

DV Flyer: Canada

DV Flyer: United Kingdom

DV Flyer: United States

Here are some ideas for places you could ask permission to put up the flyers.
You could ask permission to put them up in washrooms and/or on noticeboards.

  • churches
  • medical practices
  • hospitals
  • colleges and universities
  • domestic abuse service providers
  • women’s refuges and shelters
  • counselling practices
  • seminaries
  • cinemas
  • bookstores
  • coffee shops

25 Comments

  1. Still Reforming

    What a terrific idea! Thank you!!

  2. Joy V.

    Awesome!

  3. Round*Two

    Copied and will put up!

  4. Sasanka

    Great idea!
    I printed some and taking them to the College tonight to put on several bulletin boards with school’s permission.

  5. standsfortruth

    Oh my gosh, This is like the best!!
    I work with the public at my job, and every now and then someone crosses my path that needs your site, if only for validation.
    I scribble down your blog and tell them to go there but this is even better.
    Thank you for putting this flyer together!

  6. With the huge increase in family violence cases being reported to police in Victoria, Australia, Rob Hulls, the Director of RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice is suggesting new strategies to hold abusers more accountable.

    One of the proposals is FLASH INCARCERATION: putting the offender immediately in jail for 24 hours.
    Article from the Guardian:
    Huge increase in domestic violence cases reported in Victoria, report finds
    Australian of the Year Rosie Batty. Her son, Luke, was killed by his father on a cricket field in Tyabb, Victoria, just over a year ago. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

    • And many thanks to the reader who gave us the heads up on that Guardian article. I’ve shared it on twitter, google+, and Facebook.

      To the reader who sent us the message: please could you email me barbara@notunderbondage.com as I’d like to get in touch with you by email but I don’t want to unless you are confident your email is not being monitored by your abuser. 🙂

  7. Gary W

    Allow me to suggest that some caution might be in order when it comes to automatic remedies such as flash arrest for 24 hours. In the U.S. jurisdiction where I live police officers responding to a domestic violence situation are required to make an arrest. The arrested defendant cannot be released on bond until they are brought before a judge. Most other defendants can be released immediately if they post bond according to a set schedule.

    The concern is that, if the abuser falsely accuses his victim, both parties will be arrested. If the victim has pushed back at the perp in self defense, so that it is difficult for the police to make an on-the-spot determination who was the aggressor, the law effectively makes it mandatory that she be arrested until everything can be sorted out. I can imagine situations where a non-assertive victim ends up being the only person who is arrested.

    Swift justice is doubtless more effective than justice delayed, and I am not necessarily saying flash arrest is a bad idea. Just beware of unintended consequences.

    • Gary, I hear your cautions, and I agree that in jurisdictions where police responding to a domestic violence call-out are REQUIRED to make an arrest, the victim may be arrested instead or (or as well as) the abuser. Some abusers have become very canny about this and seem to be coaching each other on how to make their wives get physically violent so that the wife will be arrested rather than the husband.

      “Hanging by my Fingernails” is a book by a woman who went through this, and she not only describes the horrific saga she went through, but she discusses how it’s becoming a standard tactic of abusers in jurisdictions where there is mandatory arrest in DV call-outs.
      What happened to her was that her husband took her phone off her and then taunted and taunted her saying he wouldn’t give it back to her and holding it high above his head where she coudn’t reach it. She tried to get it off him and in the process scratched his face. Bingo! She has committed violence against him and he has the scratches to prove it. He phones the police and shows them his scratches and she gets put in jail for a few days and he uses this time to get an attorney and fiddle with their joint finances and assests so that he wins hands down and wipes her out financially in the divorce. . . .

      However, that situation is QUITE DIFFERENT from the kind of flash incarceration I was talking about and which the Guardian article was talking about.

      The kind I’m talking about would work like this:

      Victim has applied for and been granted a protection order, aka restraining order, apprehended violence order (AVO), intervention order (IO).

      These orders typically order the person (in this case, the abusive husband) to refrain from doing things that would put the protected person(s) in fear or would endanger them. Where I live, the order typically states that the person must not harrass, molest, use verbal, sexual, social, or cyber/technological abuse, use physical violence or threats of violence, go within so many metres of the protected person’s home or workplace, or cause other people to do any of those things to the protected person(s). And an order can also require the person to surrendur any weapons they have.

      Having been granted by the courts, the order is a civil order; at this stage it does not mean the person against whom the order has been made it given a criminal charge or there is any conviction against them for their PAST conduct against the victim; all it does it command the abuser to not do anything abusive to victim (the person the order is protecting) in the future.

      Some jurisdictions may not cover so much in their restraining orders. Maybe some only restrain the offender from using physical violence (?). So far as I’ve gathered, my part of the world is more advanced than most if not all parts of the USA in legislation around family violence.

      If the person who has the order against him breaches the order by doing any of those things which the order instructed him not to do, then the proposal being put forward is that the breach would mean the breacher would get flash incarceration.

      I imagine some kind of proof of the breach would be required, but that would be in many cases pretty easy: think of all the harrassing text messages and voicemails that abusers send their victims! Victim shows her phone with the offender’s text message on it to the police: police arrest man for the breach and put in him jail for 24 hours. Simple. Sharp. A real wake-up call to the abuser.

    • Also, my long comment just above shows that mandatory arrest laws are quite problematic. In Australia we do not have mandatory arrest laws. I am not an expert on this area, but I suspect mandatory arrest laws cause more problems than they solve. They certainly seem to be giving abusers more ways to hurt their victims!

      To my way of thinking, it is safer and more respectful to the victim if she is given the option of making a statement to the police and of telling them whether or not she would like them to lay charges on the abuser. The police may wish to lay charges, but if the victim will not testify in court, and the conviction hangs on her evidence, the charges are unlikely to lead to a conviction. So sometimes police don’t lay charges even though they might want to, because the victim doesn’t want them to. On the other hand, sometimes the victim wants the police to lay charges but the police don’t think they could get a conviction, and they might advise the victim that they won’t be laying charges even though she wants the abuser charged.

      Personally, I have made several reports to the police over the years, and in each instance the police asked me whether I wanted them to charge the abuser for the criminal offence. In each of those instances, the police also gave me their opinion about the likelihood of the charges sticking (getting a conviction). It was a resepctful informative discussion. In most (but not all) of those instances I told the police I did not want them to press charges.

      So I am in favour of letting the victim make her preferences and choices known to the police about whether or not she would like charges laid.

      However, if children are in danger and the victim doesn’t want the police to lay charges, then there may be grounds for the state to intervene via child protection in order to protect the kids.

      And from what I’ve heard, many child protection departments need a LOT more understanding of the dynamics of domestic abuse.

      • Gary W

        Barbara, you are way ahead of me. No surprise there.

  8. Gary W

    Full disclosure: I am not aware of an actual instance in which a victim of domestic violence was falsely arrested. It may be that I am only repeating the arguments the abusers make in opposition to our automatic arrest laws.

    • Friend of Victim

      Gary,

      Your caution/comments are spot on! That is exactly what happened to my friend! Lundy Bacroft has stated that he is seeing more and more cases where it is the victim who is arrested. The abusers are learning in mandatory arrest states, to make sure they call the police first. And we all know what compelling liars/actors they are! That is probably the most devastating act of abuse that her ex pulled off and perhaps the hardest thing my friend has to comprehend/live with, the fact that he planned the abuse in advance & the subsequent arrest for it. She, an innocent victim of abuse, had to spend a night in jail. The charges were dismissed when he was a no show, but she has no way of being able to remove the on line record of it. She then had to suffer through much emotional & economic trauma, trying to get physical & financial protection through an unjust legal system. Now, as she is trying to find a job that will pay a living wage, virtually every job & school in their applications state that applicants must pass a criminal background check. Even apartment applications state that. She will always be concerned about someone Googling her name, denying her housing, schooling and/or employment. Your caution is well founded indeed. Thanks for posting it!

    • Anonymous

      It happened to my friend too, except that it wasn’t an arrest. She went to the police to report his assault on her, which resulted in a broken bone. This happened during a handover. She had an intervention order which did not include handovers (yes, the father’s rights for access trumps the protection of the mother). It turned out that he beat her to the police station and made a report that she assaulted him by grabbing his T-shirt. She went to three police stations but no one would take her report because he had already made a statement. And to add to the irony, she was late in reporting only because police had been attending to her wound, but they were called away to an emergency, so they advised her to go to the nearest police station!

  9. A Warrior Mom: Ambushing With Song (2 Chronicals 20)

    Hi — I would also like to include “Legal Abuse” in Family Court system for one with money and a mindset of entitlement, power and control, and no scruples when it comes to deceit, distorted and false statements and taking children away from their mothers with the no fault divorce, paternal rights movement, genderless parenting, recent changes in child support and alimony, and websites on how fathers who never took interest in children before can learn to obliterate their wives and children’s mothers in Family Court.

    I was blindsided with an unexpected and carefully planned divorce, [Eds: details in this paragraph removed to protect the identity of the commenter and to protect ACFJ from a potential lawsuit from her abuser.] . . . sudden divorce onset accusations of “emotional instability” and … I’ve dragged in front of the judge mulitple times, . . . high legal fees: and his accusations of me are [ludicrous] …..this list goes on and on and on……

    I would like to see a documentary about these stories — I have several similar ones just within nearby social circles.

    • Yes, we know that abusers (especially wealthy ones) use the legal system to put their victims on the rack, most unjustly.

      I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been (and are still being) put through in this respect, Warrior Mom. Not that we have an answers for you, but you may like, as time permits, to look through our Systemic Abuse tag (see the tab for TAGS in the top menu) as that contains quite a few posts dealing with legal abuse. Another tag dealing with it is our Secular Justice tag.

      • Still Reforming

        Barbara,

        Not to shortcut your resources here, but I’m wondering if the legal system can force a party on the receiving end of legal motions (now on my third, received yesterday) to enter into debt to pay legal costs? I realize you may not be familiar with the US system, but perhaps you have heard this question before. Or perhaps another reader here can answer this for me.

        I’m not yet on my last dime, but I can see it coming, and in principle (and practice) I refuse to enter into debt, but I don’t know if legally I will have a choice or not if my abuser keeps filing motions and interrogatories and so forth, even after we’re divorced.

        Any thoughts on that? I’m willing to advocate for myself, but I don’t know if the law allows it in situations like this.

      • SR, I don’t think the legal system cares one way or the other here. It seems that they simply want you to come up with the money, even if it impoverishes you. It is just another way abusers abuse and get their way. Intimidation by litigation and it stinks!

      • Still Reforming

        Wendell,

        Very timely your comment. It came right after I opened an email with yet a fourth motion (the third being received yesterday) against me by my soon-to-be-ex-.

        Well, then… I can at least stand by what my God and His Spirit within me tell me – to be in debt to no man, except for love. (Romans 13:8) I just can’t abide by living in financial debt. I’m not casting any stones here against anyone for so being. I know some have no ability to not be in debt given some of our circumstances. I’m just saying if I can avoid it at any cost (so to speak), I want to,

        Now with a fourth motion today… I suppose I shan’t despair, but … this feels like a grief akin to death. I find myself tearing up suddenly or just stopped mid-stride and unable to move forward or just not knowing what to do anymore. I’m a bit overwhelmed today perhaps.

      • I don’t know enough about your legal system to answer that. Maybe some of our other readers can help you, but of course for safety’s sake none of us know which state other readers come from, and what applies in one state may not apply in another state.

        None of us here are qualified to give legal advice. Maybe your local DV support services can tell you something in a general sense without it being deemed to be ‘giving legal advice’. In most cases DV support services are not qualified to give legal advice, but they may be able to give you a sense of the lay of the land, from what they have observed other clients going through. Or they may be able to point you to legal aid services or hotlines or websites that you answer your questions. In my experience the more people you ask in matters like this, the better picture you tend to form, and the better you can compose and frame questions to ask further people. . .

    • Still Reforming

      A Warrior Mom: Ambushing With Song (2Ch20) – I’m right there alongside of you, living it now. I can’t believe how many times I have now tried to work things out directly with him, yet he insists on going through attorneys, and I’m running out of money. I’m wondering if I can just tell my attorneys that I don’t authorize their work anymore. (I suppose I can’t say that until final dissolution is done, later this month.) Still, I’ve already told them that on x, y, and z issue I don’t authorize their work, and then he continues to invent things and run them up the flagpole via his attorney. It’s astounding. Even my attorneys are shaking their heads wondering what he’s going on about, yet on it goes…. and then they call me and so forth… But at some point the money’s gonna run out and I refuse to get into debt. I just won’t allow it. (I wonder if I can be forced to pay if I just don’t have the money. I’ve already been imputed a wage I don’t earn just to lower child support.)

      So I’m still fighting like you and trying to look past the whirlwind and drama that he creates. I’m only tending to my own garden and trying to protect it best I can, trying to ignore what isn’t relevant and attend to what it, with wisdom from the Lord, clinging only to Him, asking Him to refocus my thoughts and protect our child, come what may.

      I’m so sorry for your forced times before the judge. Those aren’t pleasant and fraught with … emotion (at least for me, perhaps you too?). I will pray for you. I feel like we fight alongside one another – because it’s a common fight against our common enemy – that of the anti-Christ.

  10. Barely Reformed

    Per the original post, I was thinking that one good place for these flyers would be the ladies’ rooms during a large homeschool convention. Assuming the venue would allow it, of course.

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