Even if you plan on staying in an abusive relationship, you should have a plan for your safety:
- Gather all important papers for yourself and your children. These include Social Security cards, birth certificates, financial records, immigration papers, passports, etc. Put them in a safe place where you can get them in a hurry.
- Try to set aside some extra cash, checkbook, savings account or credit cards. Be sure to hide any cash or financial records of your savings in a safe place.
- Hide an extra set of car and house keys in a safe place or give it to a friend or neighbor.
- Pack a suitcase or bag containing essential clothing, toiletries and medications. Anything you would want if you must leave in a hurry – for yourself and your children.
- Plan ahead where you could go for safety in an emergency and how you would get there. If your plan includes other people, discuss it with them. You may want to arrange a signal that will indicate to them that you need help.
- If danger is imminent, leave at once! Try to take your suitcase and other items, but don’t risk your safety for them. Take your children if you can.
- Talk with your children about safety if they’re old enough to understand. Teach them how to call for help on 911 and where to go to be safe. You may want to set up a signal with them so that they will know when to call for help or leave.
- If your phone has a redial function, be sure to clear it if you call a hotline or someone for help, so that your partner can’t trace who you called. After you hang up from the call, pick up the phone again and press any number. If your phone has Caller ID, you can clear any number from it and there will be no record that the call was made to you.