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207 Appendix A If You Need Help For Attorneys and Judges Technical assistance, including model Bench Guides, is available through the Hague Domestic Violence Project. Contact the project at The us Central Authority for Hague Convention cases is the Office of Children’s Issues, us Department of State: For Battered Women Women who are outside of the United States and need support around domestic violence concerns can contact the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center. To access the crisis line from overseas, contact your regional AT&T operator and ask to be connected. Website: National and international toll-free number: 866-USWOMEN (866-879-6636) If you are in the United States, it is helpful to find a domestic violence advocate to provide support and help you develop a safety plan (what to do if abuse occurs). To find an advocate in your area, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Website: National toll-free number: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) (también en Español) For deaf, deaf/blind, and hard of hearing (video phone and TTY): 1-800-787-3224 En Español: -domestica Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your Internet or computer usage might be monitored, please use a public computer, or call the hotlines listed here. Women interviewed in this study offered many concrete suggestions for other mothers who might face similar legal cases under the Hague Convention. 208 | Appendix A We have grouped these suggestions into categories, presented in the sections that follow. General Issues Understand that domestic violence is not a psychological problem. You are not crazy! Strive for your kids. Be strong and fight for them. You don’t have to take his abuse—you can leave. Find other moms who know about domestic violence to talk to, so you won’t feel alone. Know you will be afraid at many moments in the process. Hold onto your faith. It’s not going to be easy, but never give up! Before Leaving the United States Know the signs that your husband may be abusing you. Find out the legal implications of moving to another country with your children. Know that the Hague Convention applies in the other country even if no one in the family is a citizen of that country (for example, all are us citizens abroad). Realize that although your children are us citizens, they are still bound by the laws of the country where they live. Don’t go to another country with your children if you believe you are in a domestic violence situation. If you feel your marriage is troubled, don’t go to another country; but if you do, make sure you have a return ticket, and make plans in United States that show you intend to return. In the Other Country Retain control of your passport and your children’s passports, if possible. Keep documentation of the abuse if possible. Go to the us Embassy and try to get help—at least ask the staff to help you find an attorney. Contact the domestic violence system in the other country (if there is one), even if all you can do is get documentation that the system cannot help you. Find a lawyer or legal representative as soon as you can, once you realize you may need to leave. If You Need Help | 209 Be wary of calling the police, but if your life is in danger, you may have to contact them. Double-check what your lawyer or the us Embassy says, especially if they are telling you to leave without permission. Understand that even if you have custody of your children, this may not give you the legal right to leave the other country. If You Decide to Leave Try to go through the other country’s courts before you leave. If you decide you must leave, carefully plan your escape if possible, and get help from others as you can. If you are going to leave, and especially if you are going somewhere unknown to your husband, don’t tell anyone your specific plans. Realize that sometimes it’s “fight or flight,” and you may have to flee to survive. Use every bit of “independent” time to your advantage for your plan. Be ready to lose everything if you...


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MARC Record
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