What can I do to stay safe?
Planning for your safety and your children's safety is critical. It may be helpful to discuss a safety plan with a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate. Advocates are available for ongoing support and help at community-based agencies and in many law enforcement and prosecution agencies. A safety plan may include the following:
- Recognize the signs of abuse.
- Develop a plan with your children.
- Teach them how to call 9-1-1.
- Have a safe place to go where the abuser can't find you.
- Talk to an advocate at a community agency
- Make copies of important papers and hide them
- Have important phone numbers available.
- Pack and hide important items in an overnight bag for you and your children (i.e., clothes, papers, medication).
- Put aside money and spare keys.
- Consider getting a Domestic Violence Protection Order.
- Use a computer and/or smartphone that can't be monitored by the abuser.
During an Incident
- Call for help (9-1-1)! When calling from a cell phone, say your location first.
- Get out if you can.
- Bring important items listed above.
If you Can't Leave the Situation
- Call for help (9-1-1)!
- Avoid rooms that are easily accessible to potential weapons such as the kitchen, bathroom, and garage.
- Avoid rooms with only one exit.
In your House
- Change locks, secure doors and windows, change passwords on accounts.
- Arrange to have someone stay with you.
- Change your phone number.
- Notify trusted friends, family and neighbors.
At the Workplace, School and Public Places
- Inform your work, daycare, school, trusted family, friends and neighbors
- Give them copies of Protection/No Contact Orders.
- Change your daily routine.