Domestic Violence Response Strategy Saves Lives-Take a Quiz

Fatalities from domestic violence cases in Maryland are down 30% thanks to a simple 16 question checklist and a call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at the time of the 911 call response. After the officer gives the quiz, she or he calls a number that allows the victim to talk to the National Domestic Violence Hotline right there on the spot. In safety, away from the abuser. The quiz may get the victim thinking, but the call lets them know there is help beyond the uniformed officer standing in front of them.

Oklahoma City also uses the checklist and sees similar results. Other cities use the checklist too, but I don’t know if your city does or not. They should.

But you can help yourself by answering these 16 questions… and then giving your brain time to process that what your abuser does is not normal, not okay, but is especially dangerous. Then call the NDVH right away.

1. Has he/she ever used a weapon against you/threatened you with a weapon?

2. Has he/she ever threatened to kill you or your children?

3. Do you think he/she might try to kill you?

4. Does he/she have a gun or can he/she get one easily?

5. Has he/she ever tried to choke you?

6. Is he/she violent or constantly jealous or does he/she control most of your daily activities?

7. Does he/she follow or spy on you or leave threatening messages?

8. Have you left him/her or separated after living together or being married?

9. Is he/she unemployed?

10. Has he/she ever tried to kill himself/herself?

11. Do you have a child/children together?

12. Do you have a child that he/she knows is not his/hers?

13. Has he/she been physical toward the child(ren) in a way that concerns you?

14. Does he/she have an alcohol/substance abuse problem?

15. Has he/she interfered with a 911 call?

16. Is there anything else that worries you about your safety?

*Now call the NDVH at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

16 questions devised by John Hopkins School of Nursing saves the lives of domestic violence victims across the nation. Take the quiz and then call the NDVH.

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About Kellie Jo Holly

Kellie Jo Holly passionately advocates against domestic violence through her writing and mentoring service. She loves helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave the relationship and begin to heal. You can also find Kellie on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. You can buy her books from Amazon.


  1. Unfortunately, since my situation isn’t “intimate partner violence, ” local organizations refuse to help me voting funding. I can’t call the police because I’m threatened with commitment by my abuser and a cop friend said they’d have to take me in just on her say for a 72 hour hold. I’m desperate and don’t know who else there is to reach out to…

  2. says:

    So what happens if you are 23 no family to have a safety plan to go to and when you plan to leave you dont want to tell the police what support could you give?

    My relationship has be ongoing for 4 years i moved after 2 years after getting really violent and then moved back a few months later the abuse started to calm down but still the emotional abuse persits.

    I live in the UK and as much as i know what he is doing is wrong i dont have the strength or support i need to leave i do love him and his family i just dont like the monster he sometimes turns into.

  3. I wanted to know if woman can be abusive and if so,how so?? by making u feel like less of a man,everything i say or comment,I’m being abusive ,but she’s the one who hangs up and won’t talk to me for a day or two.. ?? Why is that,could she be seeing someone else??

    • How easy can it be to be the abuser??

    • Yes, a woman can be abusive. Women can be horrid abusers. They play the same games a man would, and go about it by saying things like you’re not a good man, you’re a loser, you can’t do this you can’t do that. The withdrawal (not talking to you for a couple of days) probably has nothing to do with seeing another man. It’s a tactic to keep you wanting to know “WHY?” and to hurt your feelings.

      That said, she could be seeing someone else – many abusive people do have their next victim lined up in case you get wise and leave them.

      What this boils down to is you are not happy with her. It’s okay to leave someone who you can’t find happiness with. As for your other question in the other comment, “How easy can it be to be the abuser??” I’m not exactly sure what you mean. I think you’re feeling that she’s accusing you of it and, like any good man who does not want to be abusive, you’re checking yourself to see if it’s true. If that’s the case, then disregard that worry. If you’re questioning whether you could be the abuser, then chances are you are NOT. Abusers never question themselves – the spin it outward to keep victims on their toes and wondering if he could be abusive.

  4. Richard Milburn Academy says:

    My step father tries to make me feel horrible about myself and tells me that i am the reason the whole family is a wreck. He is very abusive both emotionally and physically. He makes a mess and yells at me saying that i caused it and he beats me while i am cleaning it mom does nothing about it.he tries to strangle me and when my mom starts crying about it he stops and throws me to the floor and tells me that i am the reason that my mother is crying.last night he pulled me into the garage and told me that he will make my life so miserable that i would kill myself and not even care who it affects.I am suicidal but only if something someone or myself makes me want to..He said that even if i am decent enough at home that he will still make my life miserable.I do not feel safe at home.I need help.

    • You do need help, Richard. The strangling and other physical violence can indeed be deadly, and so can the comments on suicide. You need to find local support through school or church or other trusted adult. Do you trust your best friend’s parents? Best place to start is still the NDVH at Also of assistance is

      It’s great that you’ree online asking for help. But you need a person you can see and hug locally, so reach out to trusted adults. Oh – take a look at this safety plan. Scroll to the bottom of the article to download it for free. It would be great if you took it to school with you and asked a counselor to help you fill it out.

      I wish someone could reach into your home and pluck the bad guy right out. But it doesn’t work that way. Try talking to your mother, but don’t take it to heart if she dismisses you (I know it’s hard not to take that to heart). I guarantee she is doing the best she knows how to do, even though what she’s doing isn’t right.

What do you think? Tell us!