Taking a Break

SAFTEY PLANNING

LEAVING A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR A WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN. THE ABUSER WILL DO ANYTHING TO REGAIN CONTROL OF HIS VICTIMS AND MAKE THEM VULNERABLE. PLAN AHEAD FOR YOUR SAFETY.

If you would like to find a Victim Advocate in your area, click on RESOURCES above.

SAFETY DURING A VIOLENT INCIDENT

  • I will use the windows, doors, elevator, stairs, or fire escape to get away

  • My keys are in my purse or in a safe place so I can leave quickly

  • My friends/family/neighbors are aware of my situation and can call police if needed

  • My children know how to dial 911 for help

  • My children and I have a ‘code word’ to call for help

  • I have made arrangements with friends, family, or with a shelter when I do leave

  • I have a plan B & C just in case my original plan does not work

  • When arguments arise, I go to a low risk place in the house (avoiding the bathroom, garage or kitchen where weapons can be in the room)

 

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • I understand that the Protection Order is there to protect me and my children

  • I will keep a copy of the Protection Order with me at all times

  • I will make copies and give to someone I trust; friends, school, work, daycare, etc.

  • I will call the police immediately if my partner violates the Protection Order

  • I will use my escape route if the police cannot respond immediately

  • I will give my neighbors a picture of my partner and ask them to call the police if they see him near my home

  • I will seek medical treatment immediately if I or my children have been physically injured

  • I will document my abuse and injuries (take photos of injuries, get copies of doctor’s reports and police reports)

 

SAFETY PREPARATION

  • I have money and an extra set of keys with a friend/neighbor so I can leave quickly

  • Some people I can ask for extra money and a place to stay are:___________________

  • I keep a list of safe numbers to call if I need help

  • I have extra clothes ready for myself and my children

  • I have extra copies of all important documents for myself and my children

  • I can open a savings account now to establish credit and financial independence. I am prepared to close my existing bank account and open a new one elsewhere.

  • I will use cash only and will not use credit or debit cards (these can be tracked by my abuser)

  • I know the passwords and PIN numbers for my accounts and how to change them

  • I have called my cell phone company and asked them to disable the GPS chip in my phone so my abuser can’t use my cell phone to track my location

  • I know the password for my email account and how to change it

 

SAFETY ON THE JOB AND IN PUBLIC

  • I will inform my employer that I have a Protection Order

  • I can ask that my calls be screened at work

  • I will give a picture of my abuser to co-workers and security guards

  • I will always take extra precautions of my surroundings when I am alone

  • I will park in a well-lit area at work, and when I leave work I will have a security guard accompany me to my car

  • When driving home, if problems occur I can lock my door and put on my emergency flashers and/or honk the horn

  • On bus routes, I will remain in the bus and ask the driver to call the police

  • I will do my shopping and conduct other business while my abuser is at work

  • If my abuser attempts to intimidate, harass, or threaten me in the store, I will go to the manager and ask him/her to call the police

  • If my partner is waiting for me in the store parking lot I will call the police

  • I will use another bank and do my banking while my abuser is at work

  • I will take extra steps to avoid a confrontation with my abuser

 

SAFETY PLAN FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE IN A VIOLENT SITUATION

  • Help them develop realistic safety plans to minimize the risk of violence

  • Keep change in a safe place to use a pay phone to call police and/or teach children how to use your cell phone to call for help

  • Plan which friend/neighbor’s house they could run to for protection and to call 911

  • Teach children their first and last name, phone number, address, and parent’s names

  • Practice the ‘code word’ to be used in a crisis as a signal to call for help

  • Teach your children that if a parent or other adult is threatening to kill them, their siblings, or anyone else - they should run out of the house, go to a friend/neighbor’s house, and call for help

 

SAFETY IN MY RESIDENCE

  • Change locks on windows and doors

  • Install a security system

  • Wedge poles/sticks against the doors and windows and purchase additional locks

  • Install a lighting system with motion detectors

  • Check smoke detectors and ensure your fire extinguishers are working properly

  • Check with the local domestic violence agency to obtain a ‘safeline’ phone, which is directly linked to 911

  • Purchase a phone with a speed dial option for your children to use

  • Inform your daycare provider who can and cannot pick up your children

 

SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING

  • When I feel down and want to return to a potentially abusive relationship, I can call _____________________ at __________________ for support and guidance.

  • Support groups are designed to educate me about violence and about my options. I can get help and support from women who have left violent relationships.

  • If I have to talk to my partner, I will take someone with me.

  • If I am frightened of my partner, I can obtain a TPO (Temporary Protection Order) or a Stalking & Harassment Order through the courts.

  • I know that advocates are available to help me through the legal system.

 

DEPRESSION, COUNSELING, DRUG OR ALCOHOL ABUSE

  • I understand that the dynamics of domestic violence can be frightening and very traumatic for me and for my children. It is okay to ask for help.

  • I understand that my regular support systems, (family, friends) might become frustrated because they do not know how to help me.

  • I will carefully consider the consequences of using alcohol and drugs.

  • I know that I am responsible for my actions and I will not jeopardize my safety or that of my children.

  • If I have thoughts of suicide, become depressed, or feel isolated, I will call a victim advocate, a friend, or a family member.

  • I know I can seek counseling through domestic violence agencies.

  • I know that I can call _____________________ at_____________________ for support and guidance.

  • If I become overwhelmed, frustrated, and need a break, I know I can take a time out and call the Domestic Violence

  • Agency where there is parenting and other support systems in place to help me.