Plan For Your Safety
Consider your options in an emergency situation. Will you be able to stay with a friend? Can you go to a domestic abuse shelter?
When safety is an issue, avoid any room without an easy exit, such as the bathroom. Know your escape routes; example, which doors, windows, stairways, etc. make the best escape routes.
If you can, talk with a neighbor about the violence so he/she can call the police if a domestic violence situation occurs.
Have a signal ready to use with your children, family or neighbors when the police need to be called.
Have your children know what to do and where to go so they will be safe during a domestic violence situation.
Find someone you trust. Collect and store with the person you trust clothing for yourself and children, extra keys, medicines, prescription drugs, copies of important papers, phone and address books, etc., to be used if you must leave quickly.
Always keep and have ready a shelter and/or hotline phone number. Call 911 for emergency assistance or transportation.
To hopefully further increase your safety, consider obtaining a domestic abuse restraining order. For information about obtaining a restraining order, call the Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center at (908) 453-4121 ext. 305.
Know that the threat of physical violence and/or physical violence is a crime. Call 911 if you feel you are in danger.
Keep a restraining order with you at all times. Give someone you trust a copy of the restraining order, and, if possible the local police.
Have an answering machine, caller ID, or someone you trust to screen your telephone calls. Keep records of all calls.
If the restraining order is violated the police should be called immediately.
Inform family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers that you have a restraining order and your partner is restricted from contact with you.
There are things that you can do for additional safety at home; install an alarm system, change locks, install safety devices on windows and doors/sliding doors, add to or install outdoor lighting.
Inform neighbors, landlord, family, friends that your abuser no longer lives with you and they should call police if they see your abuser near your home.
Someone at work should be advised of your situation along with the picture of the abuser. This can be your boss, the personnel department, and building security.
When leaving work, have someone escort you to your car or bus and wait with you until you are safely en-route. Also vary the routes you take to go home.
Records To Have When Leaving
- Your restraining order
- Driver's License
- Birth Certificate(s) - Yours and children's
- Social Security card(s)
- Marriage License
- Divorce papers
- Auto registration, car insurance
- Health and life insurance papers
- Medical records - Yours and children's
- TANF, WIC, Medical identification card, Food "Stamps" access card
- School papers
- Work permits/Green Card/Visa
- Passport(s) - Yours and children's
- Custody papers
- Lease, rental agreement, deed
Bank records - checkbooks, savings, etc. or account numbers
Tax records, records of income for yourself and partner
Records of household bills; mortgages, utilities, medical bills, food receipts, etc.
Phone calling cards
- House/apartment keys
- Car keys
- Medications, glasses, physical aids, prostheses, etc.
- Address book
- Pictures of you, your children and partner
- Clothes for you and your children
- Child's favorite toy or blanket
Begin or complete the process of changing documents into your name
Download "Be Prepared" Brochure
Adapted from www.dvconline.org
Manitowoc County Domestic Violence Center, Manitowoc, WI