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).