Planning for Your Safety
If you, your children or your family or household members are in a domestic violence situation, planning for your safety is extremely important. Obtaining court ordered protection is only one measure you can take to protect yourself. It is a good idea to develop your Safety Plan with an advocate or domestic violence counselor.
The following is a list of steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
- Pack a bag of essential items and leave it with a friend, relative or neighbor. Include a change of clothing for you and your children and an extra set of keys to your house and car.
- Keep important items and documents in an easy-to-locate but safe place so that you can take them with you on short notice. These items should include medicine and prescriptions, ID, social security card, cash, check book and credit cards, legal documents such as divorce papers or protective order papers, address book and phone numbers.
- Remove dangerous weapons from your home, such as firearms.
- In case of an emergency, know where you will go and how you will get a friend, family member or domestic violence support service to help you. Memorize all important phone numbers.
- Ask neighbors to call the police if they see your abuser at your home, or if they hear a disturbance coming from your home. Tell co-workers if you have a protective order against your abuser, and ask them to call the police if they see your abuser harassing you.
- Change the locks to your home if your abuser has a key. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your home.
- If an argument with your abuser occurs in your home, avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom) and rooms with weapons (kitchen).