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Programs Help Domestic Violence Victims

Services are available for those in violent relationships.

Solanlly Paulino. Photo credit: SitterCity.
Solanlly Paulino. Photo credit: SitterCity.

The murder of Solanlly Paulino brought to light the issue of domestic violence once again.

Paulino, a 23-year-old Salem State University student and nanny, was a victim of domestic violence well before her boyfriend, 43-year-old Franklin Castano, reportedly took her life.

Castano had a domestic violence record, including allegedly threatening Paulino with a machete and butcher knife in 2012.

Paulino’s family tried to get her to leave Castano, they said, but she would return to him each time. They feared the relationship would end tragically.

In hopes of saving women from violent relationships, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett created a brochure about domestic violence as well as How Do I Stay Safe?, which provides “a safety plan” for domestic violence victims.

Blodgett also produced two videos called Domestic Violence: Understanding Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence: Getting Help and Getting Out, which we have added to this article.

Click on the videos to watch each of them. The videos provide information from experts for those in abusive relationships as well as statements by women who have lived through domestic violence.

Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC) is an organization that offers support to domestic violence victims on the North Shore. They have a 24-hour hotline – 1-800-547-1649. 

HAWC offers these safety suggestions:

  • Have important phone numbers available to yourself and your children. (i.e. police, hotline, friends, emergency shelter, etc.)
  • Identify people you can tell about the abuse and agree upon ways they can assist you.
  • In case you need to leave your home, know places you can flee to.
  • Designate a person or safe place where you may leave extra money, clothing, car keys, etc.
  • Keep change for phone calls or have a cell phone and extra charger with you at all times
  • Open your own individual banking account and remove your name from other accounts
  • Rehearse an escape route and safety plan with a support person(s).
  • Change locks, install a security system, smoke detectors, and an outside lighting system.
  • Inform others (i.e. neighbor, coworkers, school officials, family, friends, etc.) that  this person/ partner should no longer be at your home.
  • Make sure your children’s caretakers are aware of those who have permission to pick up the children.
  •  If you have a restraining order, keep it with you at all times and copies to schools and childcare providers.
  • Create a network of support (i.e. neighbor, coworkers, school officials, family, friends, etc.) Join a support group, workshop, or religious groups to gain support and strengthen your relationships with other people.

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