Domestic Violence

The purpose of the Charlton Police Department Domestic Violence Unit is a clear and distinct one, to reduce to the greatest degree the number of domestic violence and abuse incidents. In addition, to investigate and prosecute those incidents that do occur in the most professional and complete manner possible. This shall include the assistance to all victims in the area of immediate and ongoing after care and periodic interaction. As the need for reaction will always be present in an imperfect society, the maximization of proactive efforts can only help to minimize the negative effects of that violence. The more we can educate the victims into reporting and action, the less opportunity the abuser should have to continue the abuse.

The Charlton Police Department is committed to better training all staff, both sworn and civilian, to better attend to the needs of the victim with immediate care and after care in the event of a domestic violence situation.

The Charlton PD, through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, was successful in obtaining a VAWA grant which provides a domestic viloence advocate who is shared between 6 communities including Charlton, Oxford, Dudley, Webster, Sturbridge, and Southbridge. The domestic violence advocate is available to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence.

In the case of an emergency, please call the police department or come to the police department and speak with an officer. If you or someone you know needs help with a non-emergency problem or if you have general questions, please call the Charlton Police Domestic Violence Unit at (508) 248-2250. Sergeant Daniel Dowd is the liaison for the domestic violence advocate.

CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children

Warning Signs of Abuse Intervention: Safety Planning Characteristics of an Abuser

Warning Signs of Abuse

Is Danger Ahead in Your Relationship?
Take this test and find out....

When beginning a new relationship, sometimes the excitement of going out with someone you really like stops you from seeing the warning signs of abuse. Remember, you don't have to have broken bones or a black eye to be abused. You may be experiencing emotionsl abuse, which might turn into physical abuse. There is hope and help:

Warning Signs of Abuse: Are you going out with someone who...

  • Is jealous and possessive toward you, won't let you have friends, checks up on you, won't accept breaking up.
  • Tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions; doesn't take your opinions seriously.
  • Is scary. You worry about how they will react to things you say or do. Threatens you, uses or owns weapons.
  • Is violent: has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, brags about mistreating others.
  • Pressures you for sex, is forceful or scary around sex. Attempts to manipulate or guilt trip you by saying, "If you really loved me you would." Gets too serious about the relationship too fast.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to use them.
  • Blames you when they mistreat you. Says you provoked them, pressed their buttons, made them do it, led them on.
  • Has a history of bad relationships and blames the other person for all the problems.
  • Believes that they should be in control and powerful and that their partner should be passive and submissive.
  • Has hit, pushed, choked, restrained, kicked, or physically abused you.
  • Your family and friends have warned you about the person or told you they were worried for your safety.

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, turn to someone for help.

The UH-OH LIST
(Warning list for potentially controlling relationship)

1) Does he/she decide where you go on the majority of dates?
2) Does he/she always want to be with his friend or friends?
3) Does he/she put down your friends?
4) Does he/she say your friends do not like him?
5) Does he/she want to limit your social activities, saying "I want to spend all my time with you alone"?
6) Is he/she possessive or jealous?
7) Does he/she check on your whereabouts and get upset when you are not available?
8) Does he/she tell you what to wear?
9) How does he/she react to frustration - i.e., waiting to be served in a crowded restaurant or waiting for you to get ready?
10) Does he/she take responsiblity for his own actions - i.e., if he failed a test - it must be the teacher's fault?
11) Does he/she put you down and do you find you are putting yourself down to appease him/her?
12) Do you have an "uh-oh" feeling, but keep dating him/her because everyone says he's/she's a great match?
13) Does he/she have unexplained mood swings?
14) Is there communication about feelings or is he/she the "strong and silent type"?
15) Does he/she have unrealistic expectations of what you should be as a wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend?
16) Does he/she accept you the way you are, or does he/she want to change you?

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Warning Signs of Abuse Intervention: Safety Planning Characteristics of an Abuser

Intervention: Safety Planning

When a woman or man has been screened for domestic abuse and has been identified as a victim or suspected victim, it is important to speak to her/him about her/his immediate and furture safety before she/he leaves the clinic. The severity of the current injuries or the abuse is not laways an accurate predictor of future violence. Assisting the woman or man in making a safety plan can help a victim think through various options, and help the clinician assess the situation and better support her/him. The following check-list will help you initiate these important discussions.

A. If she/he is planning to leave:
  • Does the woman or man have a friend of supportive member that lives nearby with whom she/he can stay?
  • Does she/he have a friend that will stay with her/him to minimize the violence in the home?
  • Does she/he want to go to a domestic abuse shelter, homeless shelter or use other housing assistance programs such as hotel vouchers from social services or advocacy programs?
  • Does she/he want to call the police, obtain an order or protection or an emergency protective order?
  • B. If she/he is not planning to leave:
  • Would she/he call the police if the perpetrator becomes violent? If she/he couldn't get to the phone, could she/he work out a signal with a neighbor to call for her/him and/or teach her/his children to call 911?
  • What kind of strategies have worked in the past to minimize injuries? Does she/he think these strategies would continue to work for her/him?
  • Can she/he anticipate an escalation of violence and take any precautions?
  • Does she/he have a support network of friends or family that live nearby who could help her/him when she/he needs assistance?
  • Are there weapons in the home? Can they be removed or placed in a safe locked area separate from the ammunition?
  • C. If the perpetrator has been removed from the home:
  • Discuss safety measures such as changing the locks on the doors and windows, installing a security system, purchasing rope ladders, outdoor lighting sensitive to movement, smoke detectors and fire extinguisher, if affordable.
  • It is important to teach children how to use the phone and make collect calls in case the perpetrator kidnaps them. Make arrangements with schools and daycare centers to release children to designated persons.
  • Encourage her/him to tell her neighbors, family and friends that he/she has left and to call 911 if he/she is seen around the house.
  • D. Being prepared to get away:
  • Encourage her/him to keep in a safe place:
    • keys (house and car)
    • important papers: social security cards and birth certificates (for parent and child), photo ID/driver's license, green cards
    • cash, food stamps, credit cards, checkbooks, etc.
    • medication for parent and children, children's immunization records
    • spare set of clothes
    • important phone numbers and addresses (friends, relatives, police, domestic violence shelter)
    • loose change to make phone calls from pay phone.
  • If possible, she/he should pack a change of clothes for herself/himself and her/his children, personal care items, extra glasses, etc.
  • Have her/him plan with her/his children. Identify a safe place for them: a room with a lock or a neighbor's house here they can go, and reassure them that their job is to stay, not to protect her/him.
  • Encourage her/him to arrange a signal with a neighbor to let them know when she/he needs help.
  • Contact the local domestic violence program to find out about laws and community resources before they are needed.
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    Warning Signs of Abuse Intervention: Safety Planning Characteristics of an Abuser

    Characteristics Of An Abuser

    1. EXPLOSIVE TEMPER: Your partner may blow up over every day events such as an overcooked dinner, bad television reception, children arguing, or no beer in the refrigerator.

    2. EXTREME JEALOUSY: Your partner may accuse you of having affairs with others, especially after you have taken a bath, put on make-up, and clean clothes. Whenever you leave the house, your partner may work himself/herself into a tizzy wondering where you are; exploding with jealousy when you return.

    3. ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUG ABUSE: Your partner may use alcohol and/or drugs to cope with problems. Many times you may hear your partner make excuses for the voilence, blaming the alcohol or drugs.

    4. DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE PERSONALITY: Following a violent episode, your partner may treat you very kindly, apologizing with flowers and promises never to hit you again. He/She may appear to be a kind and loving person one minute, and an ugly, violent monster the next.

    5. TRIES TO ISOLATE AND CONTROL YOU: He/She may forbid you to talk to your friends and relatives. You may be forbidden to drive the car or have a job. He/she may demand control of the family income and decisions.

    6. DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE VIOLENCE: Your partner may blame you for the violence, saying it was your fault because you made him/her angry and that you need to shape up.

    7. LOW SELF-ESTEEM: Your partner may not like him/herself. He/she may feel intimidated (put down) by people in authority, such as police officers or teachers, etc.

    8. ABUSED AS A CHILD: Your partner may have been a victim of child abuse, or perhaps witnessed other family abuse. He/she may believe that this is how families are supposed to live.

    9. INCREASE OF VIOLENCE DURING PREGNANCY OR SOON AFTER BIRTH: Your partner may become more violent while you are pregnant, hitting you in the stomach. The extra medical bills for the pregnancy and having to compete for your attention cause extra stress on your partner.

    10. POOR COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND POOR IMPULSE CONTROL: He/she may be unable to talk about feelings related to the violence, and become frustrated. The frustration may lead to temper explosions, and beatings. Your partner seldom admits to fear, dependency, or any other signs that show weakness. When challenged, he/she resorts to violence. Your partner may also be very critical of you and never seem to be satisfied by anything you do or say.

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    Warning Signs of Abuse Intervention: Safety Planning Characteristics of an Abuser

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