If you are in a violent relationship,
please consider taking the following action to keep yourself safe:
Safety While Living in a Violent Home and/or Preparing To Leave:
- Tell a TRUSTED friend about the violence and have them call the police when violence erupts.
- Establish a code word for your children, trusted friends and family to call for help when you use your code word.
- When an argument erupts, move to a safer room – kitchens are not safe!
- Open a savings account in your own name.
- Leave money, extra keys, copies of important papers and extra clothes with someone you trust, so you can leave quickly. Do not leave these items in your car.
- Determine who would let you stay with them or lend you money. Keep in mind the availability of domestic violence shelters.
- Keep the Beacon Center's phone number (386-255-2102) close at all times (if this is safe to do) The national hotline number is: 1-800-799-SAFE.
- Keep your cell phone charged and close.
- Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave.
- Obtain an Injunction for Protection (Beacon Center has attorneys free of charge to assist you with your petition).
Things To Have Ready In Case You Need To Flee:
|Social Security cards
|Insurance information and forms
|Driver's license or state I. D.
|Medications and prescriptions
|Lease/rental agreements, house deed, mortgage papers
|Car title and/or registration
|Bank account number, credit and ATM cards, savings passbook
|School and health records
|Medical records for you (and children)
|Clothing for you (and children)
|Keys, such as house, car, safety deposit box, storage units
|Comfort items for you (and toys for children)
|Hearing aids, glasses, dentures, any needed medical equipment
|Welfare and/or immigration documents
|Phone numbers and addresses for family and friends
Divorce papers or other court documents, such as custody papers or Injunction for Protection (IFP)
Safety When Living Alone In Your Home:
- Change the locks on doors and windows
- Install security mechanisms, such as window locks, better lighting, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, cameras.
- In rural areas where only the mailbox may be visible from the street, cover the box with brightly colored paper or paint so that police can more easily locate the home.
- Obtain an Injunction for Protection; keep it with you at all times. Even if you have left the state where the Injunction was originally granted, the unexpired Injunction is valid in any state in the country.
- Call the police if your abuser violates the Injunction for Protection order.
- Inform neighbors and your landlord that the abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him near your home.
Safety On The Job And In Public:
- Decide who at work you will tell. This should include security persons. Provide a photo of your abuser to be used for identification. If you have an Injunction for Protection, you may want to make sure that your employer and/or security at your job has a copy.
- Arrange to have someone screen your phone calls if possible.
- When you leave work, have someone escort you to your car. Use different routes to go home from work. Also vary the times, and use different routes to go places you visit on a regular basis, such as church, the grocery store, school, etc.
Safety When Children Are Involved:
- If you have children, rehearse an escape route and a safe place for the children to go if there is an emergency (if violence is occurring in the home, if there's a fire, etc.).
- Teach the children how to call the police or a family member if they are snatched.
- Talk to schools and childcare providers about who has permission to pick up the children, and develop other special provisions to protect the child. If you have an Injunction for Protection that includes the children, make sure that your child's school or day care provider has a copy.
- Find a lawyer knowledgeable about family violence to explore custody, visitation, and divorce provisions that protect the children and yourself.
Your Safety And Emotional Health:
- Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
- Decide who you can call to talk openly to give you the support you need.
- Remember Beacon Center has a 24-hour hotline that you can call for support, as well (386-255-2102). National Hotline 1-800-799- SAFE.
- Plan to attend a survivor support group to gain support from others and learn more about yourself.
- Remember, no one deserves to be abused!