2. Evidence, evidence, evidence
It is absolutely vital that you have evidence of the abuse such as photographs, screenshots, videos, audio recordings, e-mails and texts. This will help you build a strong case against your abuser ensuring that you have proof of abuse in case he lies in court. Share these with a friend so that someone else also has copies.
4. Keep a backup of your evidence
Always keep copies of your evidence somewhere safe where you know your abuser won’t find them. You could even give them to a trusted friend to keep with them in case something happens to you. It is also advisable to keep digital copies. You can use services like Dropbox or Google Drive to keep all of your digital copies in a cloud based service that won’t be deleted off your computer.
5. Keep safe
Your safety is of utmost importance. You must be very careful when collecting all types of evidence and be sure to collect it when no-one is watching, especially those you don’t trust. Make sure that whatever evidence you are collecting, you must keep it safe and out of reach from your abuser so it cannot be destroyed and discovered.
6. Keep and maintain a folder containing evidence and other documents you will need.
Personal Statement – written by you
Timeline of Events
Supporting statements – written by other people to support your case
Anything else that may be relevant, e.g. journal entries
7. Ask relevant persons to write a supporting statement for you
8. Make a timeline of the abuse
9. Be organised
10. Don’t lose hope
Nida Sheriff is the Manager of Chayn India & Chayn Executive Team. These tips have been taken from Chayn’s “How To Build Your Own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer” guide which can be read here. Chayn is a charity that empowers women in Pakistan and India (Chaynindia.com) suffering from domestic violence.
Photo credit: Escapes by Tim Geers via Flicker by CC/2.0