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Safety During an Explosive Incident
If an argument seems unavoidable, try to position yourself where you can easily get away.
Try to stay away from the bathroom, the kitchen or anywhere else weapons might be available.
Practice how to get out of your hone safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best.
In order to leave quickly, have a packed bag ready and keep it at a relative or friend’s home.
Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance.
Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors.
Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don’t think you will need to.
Use your own instincts and judgement. If the situation is very dangerous, try to calm the abuser. This may give you the opportunity to get away.
REMEMBER: You don’t deserve to be hit or threatened!
Safety in Your Own Home
Change the locks on doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
Inform your children’s school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.
Inform neighbors and your landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him near your home.
Safety When Preparing to Leave
Open a savings account and/or credit card in your own name. This will increase your financial independence. Think of other ways to increase your independence.
Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines and clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls.
Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your abuser.
REMEMBER: Leaving your abuser is the most dangerous time!
Safety with a Protective Order
Keep your protective order on you at all times. (When you change your purse, make sure it is the first thing that goes in it.) Give a copy to a trusted friend or neighbor.
Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
Inform family, friends, neighbors and your physician or health care provider that you have a protective order in effect.
With a protective order your peer advocate can help secure a personal safety alarm for you provided by ADT as well as the use of a cellular phone for emergencies.
Safety on the Job and in Public
Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a picture of your abuser if possible.
Arrange to have an answering machine, Caller ID, trusted friend or relative screen your phone calls if possible.
Devise a safety plan for when you leave your workplace. Have someone escort you to your car or other mode of transportation and wait until you are safely in route. Use a variety of routes to go home by if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home (i.e., on the bus, in your car, etc.)
Your Safety and Emotional Health
If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs. You may choose to read books, articles and poems that help you feel stronger.
Decide who you can call to talk with freely as part of building a support system.
Plan to attend a women’s or victim’s support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself.
What to Take When You Leave:
Children’s Birth Certificates
Your Birth Certificate
Children’s Social Security Cards
Your Social Security Card
AFDC/Food Stamp Paperwork
Money and/or Credit Cards
Order of Protection
Lease, Rental Agreement or House Deed
Car registration and Insurance Papers
Medical Records for Yourself and Children
Work Permits/Green Card/Visa
House and Car Keys
Small Saleable Objects
Pictures of You, Children and Your Abuser
Children’s Small Toys
Change of Clothes for You and Children
REMEMBER: None of these items are as important as your life! Leave without anything if it’s the only way to get out safely! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE SAFE!
My Sister’s House Inc. (La Casa de mi Hermana) es una organización sin fines de lucro que proporciona servicios y programas de ayuda para orientar a las victimas de violencia domestica y apoyar tanto a las mujeres y los niños para que tengan una vida libre de abuso.