Identify a variety of ways to get out of the home safely and practice using your escape route.
Pack a bag with medications, important documents, money, keys, etc. and hide it. Consider changing the hiding spot if your abuser searches the home.
Arrange a signal with neighbors to let them know when you need help (turning on a porch light during the day, pulling down a particular window shade).
Devise a code word to use with your children, grandchildren, friends or others to indicate that you need the police.
Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave (even if you don’t think you will need to).
Safety in Explosive Incidents:
Try to go to a room or area with access to an exit. Avoid rooms with no outside doors or those containing potential weapons (kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom, and garage).
Inform law enforcement if weapons are in the home.
Visualize your escape route and be prepared to use it if a safe opportunity arises.
Use your code word or special signal to tell your children or neighbors to call 911.
Use your instinct and judgement to safely access what to do next.
Safety in Public:
(Safety in school, work or social, recreational, and volunteer activities)
Decide who to inform of your situation (school, office, or building security), and provide a picture of your abuser. Consider having your phone calls screened.
Devise a safety plan for hen you are out in public. Have someone escort you to your car, bus or taxi. Use a variety of routes to go home and consider what you would do if something happened on your way home.
Safety When Leaving:
Open a savings account in your own name at a different bank. Consider direct deposit of your paycheck or benefit check. Begin to increase your independence.
Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone your trust.
Have your abusers social security number and license plate number with you to provide to police.
Bring medications, prescriptions, hearing aids, glasses, etc.
Determine who will let you stay with them and lend you money.
Keep the domestic violence program number with you and have some change at all times for emergency phone calls.
If you are 60 years or older, contact Adult Protective Services to learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services.
Review your safety plan regularly to plan the safest way to leave.
Safety in Your Own Home (If your abuser does not live with you):
Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows. Consider increasing your outside lighting.
If you have children or other dependents living with you, discuss a safety plan for when you are not with them. Inform their school, day care, etc. about who has permission to pick them up.
Safety in Protection Orders:
Keep your protection order with you at all times. If it is lost or destroyed, you can get another copy from the Clerk of Courts.
Call the police if the abuser violate the protection order.
Give copies to anyone with whom your children may stay (school, day care, etc.).
Safety and Emotional Health:
If you are considering returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
If you have to communicate with your abuser, do so in the safest way – by phone, mail, in the company of another person, etc.
Decide who you can talk to freely and who can provide the support you need. Consider calling a domestic violence hotline or attending a support group.
What to Take if You Leave:
Driver’s license or other form of ID.
Your birth certificate and those of your family members.