What is domestic violence? 
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner or an ex-partner. It occurs in both dating and long-term relationships. Tactics may include physical, sexual, emotional, and economic abuse, isolation, coercion, and intimidation.
Over time, domestic violence results in a significant gap in power and personal freedom between an abusive partner and a victim or survivor. Abuse impacts every aspect of a relationship and of a survivor’s life, including mental and physical health, friend and family relationships, parenting, and financial status.

What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence or sexual assault is any unwanted sexual attention, contact, or activity. Sexual violence may involve one or more persons forcing, pressuring, coercing, threatening or otherwise manipulating another person into sexual acts or activities against his or her will and without his or her consent.
Sex without consent is rape. It is illegal and it is wrong, and while there are many ways in which our culture places blame on the victim, it is always the perpetrators fault. If you are forced, pressured, coerced, or manipulated into sexual activity that you do not want, even if you had sex with the person before, know the person, trusted the person, didn’t fight back, were using drugs or alcohol, haven’t told anyone, or it happened a long time ago, support is available.

What is dating violence?
Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a relationship. It can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse or a combination.
Teens are one of the most at risk age categories for experiencing sexual violence. Teens are often reluctant to seek help from adults and adult-designed services.  Teen Dating Violence can include:

  • A boyfriend needing to know where his girlfriend is all the time.
  • Constant texting or phone calls.
  • Pressure to send sexual images through a phone or computer or to “sext”.
  • Manipulating or pressuring a girlfriend/ boyfriend to do sexual activities they don’t really want to do or aren’t ready for.
  • Sabotaging birth control or refusing to use any.
  • Interfering with employment, like coming to a girlfriend/ boyfriend’s job all the time when s/he is working.
  • Slapping, pushing, hitting of any kind- even if it starts playfully.
  • Getting in the way of academic progress by not allowing one to do their homework or telling a partner that they can’t go to college because it will mess up their relationship.
  • Jealousy and not letting the other dating partner hang out with anyone else, especially someone of the opposite gender.

What is stalking?
Stalking is repeated following, watching, and/or harassing of another person in a way that would cause a reasonable person to be fearful. The stalker is often trying to force a relationship with someone who is unwilling. The stalker may go to great lengths in order to know what the person they are stalking is doing at all times. Stalking behaviors can cause the victim emotional distress or fear for her or his personal safety, or the safety of her or his family.

If this is happening to me, what can I do?
You can call PAVE anytime on our 24-hour hotline at 802.442.2111 (collect calls accepted). A PAVE-trained advocate will listen to your story, and explain what options are available to you, and support you in achieving your goals.

What services does PAVE provide?

  • Referrals, information and personal support to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Assistance with restraining orders for immediate situations or, if a former abuser is being released soon from incarceration.
  • We can accompany you to the hospital, police station, court, or appropriate social services agency to provide support throughout the process.
  • Legal referral services for certain situations.
  • Limited emergency shelter or transitional housing, or referrals to other shelters if our own is full. We also have access to shelters across the country for victims who wish to relocate.
  • Support groups for battered women and adult survivors of child sexual assault.
  • Education classes, workshops and presentations, tailored to the needs of a school, organization or group.

For specific information on our outreach programs, please call us.

What happens when I call the hotline?
Our hotline is connected to an answering service that takes your first name and telephone number. The answering service then contacts the PAVE-trained volunteer on call, who immediately contacts you.

Is there anything I can do if I know someone who is being abused?
YES! If you witness the abuse, you can call the police to ensure the safety of the victim. Or if someone comes to you and discloses abuse, the best thing you can do is to believe the person and offer assistance in contacting PAVE or other organizations that may be of help. By supporting this person in time of need, you can help break the cycle of abuse.

How often can I use the services that PAVE provides?
As often as you need.

Are there ever any fees for PAVE services?
Most services provided by PAVE are free. This assures that our services remain 100% accessible to every individual throughout our service area.

What about confidentiality?
We guarantee the confidentiality of every individual who requests assistance from PAVE. Our goal is to help you end the violence in your life and to support you at all times.

What can I do to help PAVE?
Most of the services provided by PAVE require the assistance of trained volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization, and we are always in need of dedicated individuals. If you or anyone you know would be interested in becoming a trained volunteer, please contact our office for details. PAVE is also a non-profit organization that depends on the generous financial support of organizations, businesses. and individuals throughout our service area.

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