This survival kit tells you what you can do if you are threatened or hit by your spouse or partner. It is a self help guide that explains your legal rights and how to get help from the legal system. This guide also contains ideas to help you put together a safety plan and provides telephone numbers to call if you need shelter, advocacy services, counseling, a support group or if you just need someone to talk to.

No one has a right to frighten, hit or injure you. It is against the law. In fact, there are many laws in New York State designed to protect people who are victims of their partner's violence. For example, police are required to arrest any person who they have reason to believe committed a felony assault or who has violated the conditions of an Order of Protection. Every police officer, peace officer or district attorney who investigates a domestic violence incident must provide the victim with information on shelters and other services in the community. They must also provide, in writing, information on the legal rights and remedies available to the victim. This written information must be available in English and in Spanish.

These laws, and others which this survival kit explains, were put in place to help protect YOU.

The legal system can be difficult and confusing to use. For a variety of reasons, the legal system can sometimes intimidate you, and may even dissuade you from seeking the help you need. Even in the best of circumstances, going to court can take a lot of time, work and patience.

This survival kit is intended to help you in two ways. It provides up-to-date and accurate information about -the legal system in New York State and provides a general explanation of your legal rights. It can help you decide If you want to use the legal system and how to got your rights upheld if you do. Because each case is different, you should consult an attorney or legal advocate for specific advice about your case.

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