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.).