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Safety Planning for Women with Abusive Partners or Ex-Partners
- Trust your intuition and instincts; do not doubt yourself if you feel unsafe.
- Practice how to get out of your home safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes could you use? If appropriate, practice it with your children, just like we do during fire safety week.
- Alert your neighbors to call the police if they hear a fight.
- Choose a code word to use with children, friends and/or family so they can call for help.
- If an assault seems possible, try to move to a space that is lowest risk (try to avoid bathrooms, garages, kitchens, rooms near weapons and rooms without access to an outside door).
- Plan ahead for where to go in an emergency (explore possibilities including family, friends and local transition houses. safe homes).
- Find someone who will support and listen to you without making judgments.
- Keep extra car keys, money and clothes in a hidden place or at a friend's.
- Seek medical attention for all injuries. Be aware that you may have suffered physical damage you are not aware of, such as internal bleeding or concussions.
- Report assaults to the police (be aware that the police must proceed with recommending charges if there is evidence to do so, regardless of your wishes).
- Familiarize yourself with family finances.
- It may not be safe to tell your partner you are leaving. Some possibilities for leaving include when your partner is in the shower, asleep, at work, or out of town, or when you are picking up children from school, going to medical appointments, or going to work.
- If you have children, take them with you when you leave. Take copies of children's medical papers, birth certificates and other important documents.
- Take copies of important documents/items with you when you leave. If you are planning to leave put these items in one place if possible. Some important documents/items include: Personal identification, children's birth certificates, your birth certificate, social insurance cards, school and vaccination records, checkbook, ATM card, credit cards, keys-house/car/office, driver's license and registration, medications, social assistance identification, work permits, landed immigrant papers, citizenship papers, passports, lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage papers, previous tax returns
- Keep change or a pre-paid phone care available for telephone calls (if you use telephone credit cards, the following month the bill will tell your partner/ex-partner which you called)
Source: Community Coordination for Women's Safety