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There are many things you need to think about and need to plan for to make yourself safer. The following questions will help you figure out what you need to do.

1. Think about having important phone numbers available for your children and for yourself. For example:

Police, sheltrs, friends,family,counselors.

2. Think about some friends or neighbors you could tell about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from your home.

3. Think about at least 4 places you can go if you leave your home.

4. Think about leaving extra money, car keys, clothes, and copies of important papers with a close friend, relative or neighbor.

5. Think about keeping change for phone calls with you at all times, opening a savings account, rehearsing your escape route with a support person, reviewing your safety plan periodically.

6. Your life and your safety are most important. Bringing your children with you is important. Everything else is secondary.


WARNING: Violence frequently gets worse when you try to leave OR show signs of independence, like taking a class, OR filing for divorce. Your partner may become desperate. Take special care.

After the relationship is over, you still need to take care.

7. Think about changing the locks, installing steel/metal doors, a security system, smoke detectors and an outside lighting system.

8. Think about telling a couple of neighbors that your partner no longer lives with you and ask them to call the police if s/he is observed near your home or children.

9. Think about telling people who take care of your children the names of those who have permission to pick them up. If you have a personal protection order that names your children, give their caretakers and their schools a copy of the order.

10. Think about telling someone at work about your situation and ask that person to screen your calls.

11. Think about not using the same stores, banks, or other businesses that you used when you lived with your battering partner.

12. Think about getting a personal protection order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time, give one to the police, to your children’s caregivers, to your children’s schools, and to your own supervisor at work.

13. Think about someone you can call if you feel down and are thinking about returning to your battering partner. Think about attending workshops and support groups to gain support and strengthen your relationships with other people.

For your safety’s sake, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there weapons in the house? Where? Can you remove the weapons? The ammunition? Lock them up? Take them to the police?
  • Can you figure out a signal for the neighbors to call the police? Can you teach your children to call the police? Or go to a neighbor’s and call?
  • How will you get out of the house? Some women take out the garbage, walk the dog, get the newspaper or offer to go get him cigarettes. Set up a routine where it is normal for you to leave for a short time.

Many victims of domestic violence ask these questions about leaving.

Can I take my children with me when I leave?

  • Yes. If you can do it safely, definitely take your children with you. It may be more difficult later.
  • Get legal custody of them within a few days. This is very important. Many of the groups listed in this book may help you find assistance.
  • If you do not have your children with you, it may be difficult filing for temporary custody of your children. The parent who has physical possession of the children may have an advantage getting temporary custody.
  • Your partner may try to kidnap, threaten or harm the children in order to get you to return.
  • If you are in immediate danger and cannot take your children, contact the police immediately to arrange for temporary protective custody. (This does not mean you will lose custody. Permanent custody will be decided later by a judge.)

Where do I go?

  • Stay with a friend or relatives.
  • If you are a woman, do not stay with a man unless he is a relative. (Living with a man you are not married to could hurt your chances of getting custody of your children and spousal support. It could also cause conflict with your abuser.)
  • Go to a battered women’s shelter with your children. The staff there can help you get legal and financial help as well as provide counseling and emotional support for you and your children.
  • Or call 911 because it is a good start.

Your life and your safety are most important. Trying to bring your children with you is important. Everything else is secondary.

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Made By Cherubrose™

Diamond Divas 1999

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