Safety during a violent incident. Women cannot always avoid violent incidents. In order to increase safety, battered women may employ a variety of strategies. Victims can use some or all of the following strategies.
If I decide to leave, I will _____________________________________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells, or fire escape would you use?)
I can tell _____________________________about the violence and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my house/apartment.
I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact the police or other emergency personnel.
I will use ______________________________ as my code word with my children and/or my friends so they can call for help or escape from a potentially dangerous situation.
If I have to leave my home, I will go
(Decide this even if you don't think there will be a next time.)
When I expect we are going to have an argument, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as ______________________________. (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons, or in rooms without access to an outside door).
Safety when preparing to leave. Battered women frequently leave the residence they share with the abusing partner. Leaving must be done strategically in order to increase safety. Abusers often strike back when they believe that a battered woman is leaving a relationship. A victim can use some or all of the following safety strategies.
I will leave money and an extra set of keys with
________________________________________ so I can leave quickly.
I can leave an escape bag with extra clothes and copies of important papers for myself and my children with ________________________________________. (Choose a place
The abuser will not have access to or will not think to look such as a doctor's office or clinic, your child's daycare, etc.)
The domestic violence hotline number is ___________________________. I can seek shelter by calling this hotline.
I can keep change for telephone calls on me at all times in case of emergency. I understand that if I use a calling card, the telephone bill will tell my abuser the numbers I called after I left. I can make anonymous calls by using coins.
I will need to keep any plans for leaving or any documents regarding safety plans, etc. out of sight of my abuser. Places where I may keep these kinds of things include:
I will rehearse my escape plan. I will be careful about discussing plans for leaving with my children as they may accidentally "spill the beans".
I will tell people who take care of my children which people have permission to pick up my children.
Safety in my own residence. There are many things a victim may do to increase her safety in her residence. It may be impossible to do everything at once, but safety measures can be added step by step. Safety measures victims can take include:
I can change the locks on the doors and windows as soon as possible. I can install burglar bars on the windows, an electronic security system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for each floor of my home, and outside motion detector lights. I can use poles to wedge against doors and replace wooden doors with metal ones.
I can ask the crime prevention unit at my local police station to do safety assessments of my home.
I can inform________________________(neighbor), ____________________________
(pastor), and _______________________(friends) that my partner no longer resides with me and they should call the police if they observe him or his vehicle near my residence.
Safety in Public and or On the Job.
If I work, I can inform my boss, the security supervisor, and _______________________
at work of my situation. If I have a protection order I can give a copy to the security department at work. I can also give security personnel a picture or description of my abuser.
I can ask _________________________________ to help screen my phone calls at work.
If I drive or use public transit and problems occur, I can __________________________. I can also vary my routes and times of travel toand from work or when running errands.
I can use different grocery stores and shopping malls to conduct my business and shop at hours that are different than those when residing with my abusing partner.
If I have a protection order, I will keep a copy of my order ________________________
(location). I will always keep it on or near me and if I change purses that's the first thing that will go in.
I will give a copy of my protection order to the police departments in the community where I live and the communities where I usually visit friends and family and the community where I work.
Items to take when leaving:
I can gather the following items in advance of leaving and keeping then in one location if possible so I may leave in a hurry if needed. (Select only those items that will not attract the attention of the abuser or will not be noticeably missing).
· Identification for myself Extra clothes for myself and my children
· Children's birth certificates Needed prescriptions
· Social Security cards School and shot records
· Money, checkbook, ATM card Keys-house, car, office
· Driver's license and registration Immigration documents i.e. passport, green card
· Public Assistance ID, EBT card Picture of abuser
· Medicaid Cards Address book
Community Outreach Specialist