- Safety must be your first consideration. Leave without a plan if necessary, and get to a protected place, preferably a shelter.
- Plan your departure, if at all possible. Keep your preparations discreet.
- Leave at a calm time when your partner is gone. A final confrontation will only endanger you and your children.
- Get a protective order. If the order is violated, call the police.
Safety planning can be individualized for each person. Help with this type of planning is available by calling the RI Victims of Crime Helpline at 1-800-494-8100
Safety Plan/Preparing to Leave
- Gather all important information:
- ID cards.
- Driver's license.
- Medical insurance cards.
- Medications & prescriptions.
- Immunization records.
- Birth certificates.
- Marriage licenses/divorce papers.
- Credit & ATM cards.
- Bank account numbers.
- Social Security cards.
- Copy of car keys.
- Phone numbers & addresses of friends and family.
- Put aside a few clothes for yourself and your children.
- Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.
- Find a place to store important documents, keys, and clothes. Place all of these important items in a safe place, for example in a safety deposit box, or at a trusted friend's house, so that you can get it easily when you decide to leave.
- Prepare your children for emergencies. Make sure they know how to dial 911 and are not afraid to do so.
- Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures.
- Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible.
- Know where you can go to get help; tell someone what is happening to you.
- If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
- Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend's house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
- Contact your local battered women's shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.
- Acquire job skills or take courses at a community college as you can.
Domestic Violence: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston