Problem-solving & Safety Planning Around Sabotage

Cheryl was at the courthouse when she saw the Domestic Assault Response Team of the local police department and her advocate from the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP).  Pulling them aside in a very agitated voice told her how her former ex was making her life miserable and was smart enough to be flying “under the radar” of the no-contact order issued by the judge.  Cheryl was sure that David, her abuser, was having his friends do most of the dirty work.

Survivor updates safety plan and reviews needs with DVIP advocacy team.

Her car’s gas tank had been compromised with sugar and the repair bill would be more than she could handle for several months. This would make her commute to work at least two hours longer each day as she would have to take the bus. A car or Uber would be too expensive. Then there were all the other trips she would have to figure out with one child in school as well as the usual errands and appointments to keep.

She would find various items tossed in her house yard that would be reminders of something that he had done to her in the past or had happened. At times, packages, flowers or food would be delivered to her address. It seemed that he always found a way to “send a message” that was clear enough to her so that she would be upset for the day, the week or the month.

Cheryl told her advocate that she was “ready to snap”.  The DART officer and the DVIP advocate took a bit of time to find a quiet place in the courthouse to talk to Cheryl and see how they could problem solve this current round of sabotage.  Security cameras were an option that she readily wanted. The advocate knew who to go to make that happen. As to the car, the officer said that he would talk to a repair shop manager and see if they would set up a payment plan for her as the advocate would help her contact some helping agencies who would help her make the monthly payments.   Both professionals helped Amanda with a new safety plan as well as reminder her that if she felt that she needed more counseling to get her through this very stressful time, that she could utilize the Crime Victim Compensation Program for funding.

The biggest barrier facing Cheryl was that her abuser was smart enough to know how to navigate No Contact Order and he had friends who were willing to step up and do the harassing for him without getting caught.  By updating Cherly’s safety plan and reminding her of the steps to take to report the harassment and to contact the DVIP Crisis Line 24/7 to process and get any extra information/help she needed at the moment. She also had the added buffer in knowing that if matters got to the point she needed to flee she had a plan and a safe place with DVIP’s help.