1. Safety During an Explosive Incident
• If an argument is unavoidable, have it in an area that has access to an exit and not in the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
• Practice how to safely leave your home. Identify which doors, windows, elevators or stairwells work the best.
• Keep a packed bag ready in an undisclosed accessible location in order to leave quickly.
• Talk to a trusted neighbor about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
• Devise a code word to be used with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
• Make a plan to determine where you will go if you have to leave the home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
• Trust your instincts and judgments. If you cannot call 911, focus on doing what it takes to survive.

2. Safety When Planning to Leave
• Think of ways to increase your independence such as opening a bank account in your name.
• Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
• Know how to get to your local domestic violence shelter.
• Keep shelter phone numbers and spare change with you at all times for emergency phone calls.
• Update and review your safety plan as often as needed to ensure the safest way to leave your batterer.

3. Safety in Your Home After the Batterer Has Left
• Change the locks on your door as soon as possible. Have safety devices installed to secure your windows.
• Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.

4. Injunction for Protection Safety
• Keep your Injunction for Protection order with you at all times and call the police immediately if your partner violates your injunction.
• Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police are unable to respond right away.
• Inform family, friends, employer, neighbors and your children’s schools that you have an Injunction for Protection order in effect.

5. Safety on the Job and in Public
• Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include
building security (provide picture of batterer if possible).
• Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Vary your schedule as much as possible. Have someone escort you to your car or bus. Use a variety of routes home if possible. Plan in advance what you would do if something happened while you are going home (in your car, on the bus, etc.).

CHECKLIST
Things to Bring When You Leave
□ Driver’s License/I.D.
□ Children’s Birth Certificates
□ Your Birth Certificate
□ Money
□ Lease, Rental Agreement, House Deed
□ Bank/Checkbook
□ Family Heirlooms
□ Insurance Papers (Medical, Life, Auto)
□ House/Car Keys
□ Medication
□ Small Marketable Objects
□ Address Book
□ Photographs
□ Medical Records for All Family Members
□ Social Security Card
□ Welfare Identification
□ School Records
□ Work Permits
□ Green Card
□ Passport
□ Divorce Papers
□ Jewelry
□ Children’s Small Toys

Be Prepared To Get Away

  • Keep these items with someone you trust: spare keys, a set of clothes, important papers, prescriptions, money.
  • Keep any evidence of physical abuse (ripped clothing, photos of bruises and injuries, etc.).
  • Plan the safest time to get away.
  • Know where you can go for help. Tell someone what is happening to you. Have the phone numbers of friends, relatives and domestic violence shelters with you.
  • Call 911 if you are in danger.
  • If you are injured, go to the hospital emergency room or doctor and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
  • Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them: a room with a lock or a neighbor’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not protect you.
  • Arrange a signal with a neighbor (e.g. – if the porch light is on call law enforcement).

Contact the Ocala Domestic Violence Center to find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.