Know your abuser’s red flags.
Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.
Identify safe areas of the house.
Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits (such as closets or bathrooms) or rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen). If possible, head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window.
Be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
Keep the car fueled up and facing the driveway exit, with the driver’s door unlocked. Hide a spare car key where you can get it quickly. Have emergency cash, clothing, and important phone numbers and documents stashed in a safe place (at a friend’s house, for example).
Practice escaping quickly and safely.
Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack from your abuser. If you have children, have them practice the escape plan also.
Come up with a code word.
Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends, neighbors, or co-workers know that you’re in danger and the police should be called.
Make and memorize a list of emergency contacts.
Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a place to stay, or help contacting the police. Memorize the numbers of your emergency contacts, local shelter, and domestic violence hotline.
Keep change and cash on you at all times.
Know where the nearest public phone is located, and have change available so you can use it in an emergency situation to call for help. Also try to keep cash on hand for cab fare.
Additionally, to keep yourself safe from domestic abuse and violence you should document all abuse. If you’ve been injured, take photographs. If you have been abused in front of others, ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Finally, don’t hesitate to call the police if your abuser has hurt you or broken the law. Contact the police even if you just think your abuser might have broken a law. Assaulting you, stealing from you, and destroying your property are all crimes.
What to Take With You When You Leave an Abuser.
A Planning Checklist
Here are some helpful items to get together when you are planning on leaving an abusive situation.
Conceal it in the home or leave it with a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative. Important papers can also be left in a bank deposit box.
If you have children, take them. And take your pets too (if you can).
| Identification for yourself and your children
||1. birth certificates
2. social security cards (or numbers written on paper if you can't find the cards)
3. driver's license
4. photo identification or passports
5. welfare identification
6. green card
| Important personal papers
||1. marriage certificate
2. divorce papers
3. custody orders
4. legal protection or restraining orders
5. health insurance papers and medical cards
6. medical records for all family members
7. children's school records
8. investment papers/records and account numbers
9. work permits
10. immigration papers
11. rental agreement/lease or house deed
12. car title, registration, and insurance information
2. credit cards
3. ATM card
4. checkbook and bankbook (with deposit slips)
3. safety deposit box or post office box
| A way to communicate
||1. phone calling card
2. cell phone
3. address book
||1. at least 1 month's supply for all medicines you and your children are taking, as well as a copy of the prescriptions
| A way to get by
||1. jewelry or small objects you can sell, if you run out of money or stop having access to your accounts
| Things to help you cope
3. children's small toys or books