Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe.
If you are in an abusive relationship think about…
- Having Important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
- Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
- How to get out of you home safely. Practice ways to get out.
- Safer places in your home, where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safe places.
- Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
- Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get
- Going over you safety plan often
If you consider leaving your abuser, think about…
- Four places you could go if you leave your home
- DO NOT tell your partner you are leaving, leave quickly.
- People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
- Keeping change for phone calls for getting a cell phone.
- Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name
- How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
- If you have pets arrange for someone to care for them temporarily, until you get settled. A shelter may help with this
- Remember to clear your phone of the last number you called to avoid the abuser utilizing redial
- Changing your address with Canada Post – make arrangements for notice NOT to come to your present address
Items to take if possible
- Children (if it is safe)
- Keys to car, house, work
- Extra clothes
- Important papers for you and your children
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- School and medical records
- Bankbooks, credit cards
- Driver’s license
- Car registration
- Welfare Identification
- Passports, green cards, work permits
- Lease/rental agreement
- Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
- Insurance papers
- PPO, divorce papers, custody orders
- Address book
- Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
- Items for your children ( toys, blankest, etc.)
In Some circumstances arrangements can be made to have the police bring you back to the home later, to remove additional personal belongings, if it is arranged through the local division. Take the items listed above as well as anything else that is important to you or your children.
When you leave, take the children if you can. If you try to get them later, the police cannot help you remove them from their other parent unless, you have a valid court order signed and directed by a judge.
WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim’s lives. When abusers feel a loss of control-like when victims try to leave them – the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.