This information provides tips to help keep you as safe as possible while you are still in an abusive relationship, when you are preparing to leave, and after you have left.
Following these suggestions (often known as a safety plan) can’t guarantee your safety, but it could help make you safer. However, it is important that you create a Personlized Safety Plan that is right for you. Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone, and some could even place you in greater danger. You have to do what you think is best to keep yourself and your children safe.
~Try to avoid rooms that don’t have exits (bathrooms), or that may have weapons (kitchens). Try to stay in a room with a phone or keep your cellular phone with you.
~Know where any weapons may be in the home (guns, knives).
~Practice getting out of your home safely, plan more than one way out.
~Always know where your purse, wallet and keys are, in case you have to leave suddenly.
~If possible keep a packed bag with a trusted friend or family member.
~Create a code word or signal to use with your children, family, friends or neighbors, when you need help or the police to be called.
~Plan a safe place to go if you have to leave suddenly.
~Try to leave your home when your abuser is not there and not due back anytime soon.
~Open a bank account or credit card in your own name or have money stored in a safe place. Make sure your accounts have passwords that you abuser cannot access.
~Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents, extra medicine and clothes somewhere safe or with someone that can be trusted.
~Keep hotline numbers accessible.
~Be aware that your abuser can discover your plans or location by monitoring your email, phone calls or internet searches.
~Review your Personlized Safety Plan.
~If possible, obtain an Order of Protection.
~Change locks on your doors.
~Install locks on windows.
~Inform neighbors and landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you and to call the police if they see them near your home.
~Screen your phone calls.
~Create a routine when you arrive home; check your house, checking with someone to let them know you are home and safe.
~Decide who at work you will inform of your situation.
~Create a Personlized Safety Plan for leaving your place of employment.
~Have someone escort you to your car.
~Use a variety of routes when running errands or returning home.
~Inform your children’s school and caregivers who is allowed to pick up your children.
~If you have an Order of Protection, keep it on you at all times.
~Call the police immediately if your abuser violates the Order of Protection.
~Inform family, friends, your place of employment, and children’s school if you have an Order of Protection.
~If you are planning to leave or have already left speak with someone that can offer you support.
~Reach out to resources that can offer continued Domestic Violence Advocacy through counseling, groups and legal advocacy.