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Lake County State's Attorney  

How to Keep Safe
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.

If you live with an abusive partner

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.

If you are planning to leave

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.


What you need to take when you leave


driver's license or military identification

birth certificate

social security number or card


insurance documents


money and credit cards

bank and check books

savings bonds

food stamps

Legal Papers:

copy of your Order of Protection

car registration/insurance papers

copy of lease

medical and school records

separation/custody papers

power of attorney/will



keys to home and car

address book/telephone cards


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Waukegan, IL 60085
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Related Links
 Orders of Protection
 How to keep safe
 Why women stay
 Victim rights
 Victim notification
 Elderly abuse
 General information
 Helpful links for victims
 Reporting domestic violence
 Support and counseling
 911 cell phone program
 Characteristics of an offender