It is important to try to plan for your safety and the safety of your children. Do as many of the following as possible. But remember your safety is first.
- Plan for a quick escape.
Know where to go and how to get there anytime of the day or night. Think this through now, before an attack. Consider going to a domestic violence shelter or the home of family or friends if that is not possible. Try a public place such as a library, hospital, shopping center, police or fire station — know where they are.
- If you believe you are about to be assaulted.
Try to stay out of rooms where there are weapons such as guns or knives. Do not attempt to threaten your abuser with a weapon; it can be turned against you.
- Keep a list of phone numbers of family, friends, doctors, safe shelter, etc.
- Gather important documents such as:
birth certificates • passports • prescriptions • social security numbers • copies of any protective orders or records of the abusers prior convictions, if any • marriage license • insurance information • children’s school records and immunization (shots) records • medical records • information about bank accounts • any other information you feel is necessary should you need to leave quickly.
- Put aside emergency money.
- Hide an extra set of car keys.
- Keep an extra set of clothes and shoes for you and your children with a trusted friend or neighbor.
- Take a special toy for children.
- Talk to people you trust and let them know about the violence you are experiencing.
- Trust yourself and your decisions. You know best how to stay safe.