IMPORTANT PLANNING FOR YOUR SAFETY
Step I - Plan for Safety if a Violent Incident Occurs
- Plan to keep your purse and car keys ready. Put them in a place that you can grab them and leave quickly.
- Tell a friend, neighbor or family member about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from the house.
- Teach your children how to dial 911 to contact the police.
- Decide right now where you would go if you have to leave your home.
- If you believe an argument is going to occur, move to a lower risk place in your home. Avoid bathrooms, the kitchen, garage, rooms where weapons are stored or rooms without access to an outside door.
- If the situation is serious, give your partner what he/she wants to calm them down. Protect yourself until you are out of danger.
Step 2 - Plan for Safety When You Are Preparing to Leave
- Leave money and an extra set of keys, and copies of important documents with a neighbor, nearby friend or family member so you can leave quickly.
- Leave extra clothes with a nearby friend or neighbor in case you must leave quickly.
- Open a bank or savings account in your name to increase your independence.
- Memorize the domestic violence hotline number (775) 883-7654. Use this number if you need to seek shelter from domestic violence.
- Keep change for phone calls, a phone calling card or a cell phone at all times.
- Avoid making calls from your home phone that would display the numbers you have called.
- Decide on an escape plan and rehearse this plan. If you have children, practice with your children.
Step 3 - Plan for Safety with a Protection Order
Note: Many batterers will obey a protective order, but you cannot predict which violent partner will obey the order and which will violate the order. Plan for your safety by seeking shelter from the batterer. Be prepared to ask the police or the courts to enforce your protective order.
- Keep your protection order with you at all times. Make copies and keep them in your car, your home, at your job or anywhere else you might spend time regularly.
- Inform your employer, your minister, your friends, your babysitters, your children's school and anyone else you or your children regularly spend time with.
- If your partner violates the protection order and you feel you are in danger, CALL THE POLICE. You should also plan on contacting your attorney and/or calling the court and advising them of the violation.
- If your partner is contacting your place of work repeatedly, you can ask a coworker to screen your calls.
- Consider your daily habits. Do you frequent the same grocery store or shopping center regularly and at the same times? If so, consider varying where and when you carry out your daily activities so they are different from your habits when you resided with your battering partner.
- Consider changing to a different bank or financial institution. It is also a good idea to vary the times you do your banking to different hours than when you were with your partner.
Step 4 - Items to Take When Leaving
When you decide to leave your partner, it is important to take certain items with you. You could also copy these papers and leave them, along with some extra clothing, with a trusted friend or family member in the event you must leave in a hurry. The following is a list of items that should be taken. It is best to leave them in one location so that if you have to leave in a hurry you can take them quickly.
When you leave, you should take these items with you, or have these previously available with a friend or neighbor:
Your children's birth certificates
Social Security cards
School and vaccination records
Checkbook, ATM cards
Keys - House/car/office
Drivers license and registration for your vehicle
Work permits, green cards, passports
Medical records for yourself and your children
Children's favorite toys and/or blankets
Items of special sentimental value