Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. The resources in this packet can help you to make a safety plan that works best for you. It is important to get help with your safety plan. Advocates of Ozaukee may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911.
If you are in an abusive relationship, think about...
- Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends, and a local shelter.
- Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
- How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to escape quickly.
- Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen, try to get the abuser to one of these safer places.
- Any weapons in the house. Think about ways you can get them out of the house.
- Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get to.
- Reviewing your safety plan often.
If you consider leaving the abuser, think about...
- Places you could go if you leave your home.
- People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you, or people who might lend you money. Talk with our advocates about making plans for your pets.
- Keeping change for phone calls or getting a phone card or a cell phone.
- Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your own name.
- How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store.
- How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to be able to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
- Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get them. Items to take, if possible:
- Keys to car, house, work
- Extra clothes
- Important papers for you and your children
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- School and medical records
- Bank books, credit cards
- Driver's license
- Car registration
- Welfare identification
- Passports, green cards, work permits
- Lease/rental agreements
- Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
- Insurance papers
- Restraining orders, divorce papers, custody orders
- Address book
- Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
- Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)
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If You Have Left The Abuser, Think About...
- Your safety - you still need to review your safety plan
- Getting a cell phone. Advocates of Ozaukee may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911.
- Getting a Restraining Order from the court. Keep a copy with you at all times. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your work.
- Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.
- Telling friends and neighbors that the abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see the abuser near your home or children.
- Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up.
- Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls.
- Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with the abuser.
- Someone that you can call if you feel down or need support.
- Safe way to speak with the abuser if you must.