Victims of domestic violence are in an extremely dangerous situation. Whether a victim is still with the abuser, or planning on leaving, below are some simple guidelines that can help a victim.
Stay away from areas like the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or anywhere weapons might be available during an argument.
When possible, remove, hide or lock up any firearms in the household.
Identify a safe exit from the home e.g. door, windows, elevators and stairwell.
Always have a packed bag ready.
Discuss the situation with your neighbors. Ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance.
Find a code word to use with friends, children and neighbors, when you need the police.
Decide on a place to stay if you leave the environment, even if you do not think you need to.
Always remember: you do not deserve to be hit or threatened.
Open a bank account in your own name.
Leave money, extra keys, copies of documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
Determine who your resources are if you need shelter or money.
Have change on hand for any emergency calls that need to be made.
Remember you and your children's safety comes first.
Once you are out of the batterer's environment
Change locks on your doors.
Discuss safety plans with your children.
Inform children's school about who has permission to pick them up.
Inform neighbors that if they see your abuser to call the police.
Show neighbors a photo. Tell them about your Order of Protection.
Keep Order of Protection with you at all times.
Call the police if you are concerned about your safety.
Make photocopies of your Order of Protection and give it to the children's school, your employer, your neighbors and your local police department.
Screen your telephone calls at home and work.
Whenever possible have someone escort you to your car or walk out of an area with other people.
If communication is necessary between you and your partner, meet in public places or decide on a third party to contact and relay messages.
Always keep yourself informed on the dynamics of domestic violence and talk freely and openly with people who can provide you with support.
driver's license or military identification
social security number or card
money and credit cards
bank and check books
copy of your Order of Protection
car registration/insurance papers
copy of lease
medical and school records
power of attorney/will
keys to home and car
address book/telephone cards