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If you are living with the person who is abusing you, here are some things you can do to ensure your and your children's safety:
  1. Have important phone numbers memorized. These are friends and relatives whom you can call in an emergency. If your children are old enough, teach them important phone numbers, including when and how to dial 911.
  2. Keep this information in a safe place-Where your abuser won't find it, but where you can get it when you need to review it.
  3. Keep change for pay phones with you at all times.
  4. If you can, open your own bank account.
  5. Stay in touch with friends-Get to know your neighbors. Resist any temptation to cut yourself off from people, even if you feel like you just want to be left alone.
  6. Rehearse your escape plan until you know it by heart-Let your neighbors know of any secret codes (such as flashing the outside lights) that you may use if you are in danger and need them to call the police.
  7. Leave a set of car keys, extra money, a change of clothes, and copies of the following documents with a trusted friend or relative:
    1. Your and your children's birth certificates
    2. Your children's school and medical records
    3. Bank books d. Welfare identification
    4. Passports or green cards
    5. Your and your children's social security cards
    6. Lease agreements or mortgage payment books
    7. Insurance papers
    8. Important addresses and telephone numbers
    9. Any other important documents

Safety after you have left the abusive relationship:

  1. Once you no longer live with the abuser, here are some things you can do to enhance your and your children's safety.
  2. Change the locks-If you're still in your home and the abuser is the one who has left. Do not hide the keys to your home outside.
  3. Install as many security features as possible in your home-These might include metal doors and gates, security alarm system, smoke detectors, outside lights and dead bolt locking systems.
  4. Inform neighbors that your former partner is not welcome on the premises-Ask them to call the police if they see that person loitering around your property or watching your home.
  5. Make sure the people who care for your children are very clear about who does and who does not have permission to pick up your children including; day care centers, friends and family members, bus drivers and the school system.
  6. Obtain a restraining order, if applicable (see criteria in another section of this site)-Carry the protective order with you at all times. If confronted by the defendant at all, report the contact immediately to the local police.
  7. Let your co-workers know about the situation-If your former partner is likely to come to your workplace to bother you. Ask them to warn you if they observe that person around.
  8. Use caution when visiting stores, banks and businesses that you used when you were living with the abuser.
  9. If you feel that you and your family are in extreme danger, you may consider relocating to a different location until the matter is settled. If you feel that you or your family are in danger at any time, call emergency 9-1-1 immediately.
  10. Talk to someone you trust-Attend workshops. Join support groups. Talk to a counselor. Do whatever it takes to form a supportive network that will be there when you need it. If your children have witnessed violence make sure that they also have access to talking with someone about the trauma.

Create a Personal Safety Plan and share it with a friend.

There are people who care about you and your situation and who are willing and ready to help.

You are not alone.

 

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