Absolutely no one deserves to feel unsafe in their home or community. If you have been hit, threatened, demeaned or abused, please consider the following tips to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones:
During an incident:
- If there is an argument, try to be in a place that has an exit.
- Avoid the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere that may contain weapons.
- Use your instincts and judgement. In some cases it may be possible to appease the abuser and calm them down.
- Develop an age appropriate safety plan with your children.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
When you are preparing to leave:
- Open a checking or savings account in your own name.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and an extra set of clothes and medicines in a safe place or with someone you trust.
- Find a safe place where you and you children can go.
- An old cell phone that can power on may be used to dial 911. When you call, always disclose your address so dispatchers can locate you.
- If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place.
Feeling safe online and with Technology
- Create a new email account.
- Change all your passwords and PIN numbers.
- Update your privacy settings.
- For help making your technology use safer, click here.
Feeling safe in your own home
- If you stay in your home, be sure to change your locks on the doors and lock your windows.
- Inform you children’s day-care, school, etc. about who has permission to pick up your child.
- Inform your neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see them near your property.
- If you move, do not tell your abuser your new address. If you wish to keep your address confidential, consider applying for the Address Confidentiality Program.
Feeling safe on the job and in public
- Decide whom you will inform at work of your situation. Tell security officers, and if possible, provide pictures of your abuser.
- When working, if possible, have someone screen your telephone calls.
- Ask for an escort to and from your car.
- Alternate your daily routines. Change frequently visited places such as gyms, banks, grocery stores, etc.