Enhance Safety in an Abusive Relationship
Important Phone Numbers.
Have important phone numbers for you and your children; including the police, hotlines, friends and A Safe Place or the local Domestic Abuse hotline.
Have a Code Word
Have a code word for your children, friends, family and neighbors to know they need to call 911. Teach young children how to dial 911.
Know Your Escape Route
Practice ways to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route.
Know Where You Can Go
Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you can go if you need to get out in a hurry. Think of how you can leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store.
Make Your House Safer
Are there any weapons in the house? Think about ways that you could get them out of the house or out of easy reach.
Enhancing Safety during an Explosive Incident
Stay Near an Exit
Avoid going into a bathroom or bedroom that doesn’t have a way out. Avoid rooms where there are weapons (i.e. kitchen with knives)
Have a Phone Near By
Stay in a room where there is a phone or keep a cell phone with you. Call 911, a friend or neighbor if possible. Let someone know if there are weapons in the house.
Enhance Safety when Leaving
Reach Out to Others
Who are people who can help you if you leave? Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets, A Safe Place can help with this.
Have Money Ready
Keep change for phone calls or get a cell phone. (A Safe Place offers emergency 911 cell phones for free) Open a bank account or get a credit card in your name.
Have a Plan Ready
Plan how you are going to leave and practice it. What are ways you can get out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store.
Plan for Your Children
How can you 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.
Put Together a Bag
Put together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get (car, work, etc.)
Call your Local Crisis Center
Contact A Safe Place (1.800.854.3552) or you local crisis center to find out if shelter is available as well as to learn about the other services they may offer you.
Enhance Safety after You Leave
Consider a Protective Order
Consider a protective order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
Change the locks on your doors. Consider putting in stronger doors, window bars, better outside lighting. Add smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a security system.
Get the Word Out
Tell friends and neighbors that your partner no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your partner near your home or children.
Tell people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a Protective Order protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.
Tell someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls.
Change Your Routine
Go to different stores or businesses than you did when you were with your partner.
Who can you call if you feel down? Contact A Safe Place or your local Crisis Center for support or to find out about area support groups.
Enhancing Safety and Emotional Health
You don’t deserve to be put down, threatened or hit. Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs
Ask A Safe Place or your local crisis center for materials that discuss domestic abuse. Check out the local library to see what they have available. If you look online, remember that abusers may be able to track your search history.
Contact A Safe Place (1.800.854.3552) or your local crisis center to talk with an advocate. Find out about support groups running in your area.
Do What is Safe for You
If you have to communicate with your abuser, arrange to do it in such a way that makes you feel safe (i.e. by phone, mail or in a public location with the company of anther person.)