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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 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 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, passports, visas, 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 & 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