Preparing To Leave
Cell Phones can contain GPS tracking devices. If possible, buy a new or disposable cell phone for yourself and leave the old one behind.
Try not to act differently so as not to alert your abuser of your plan.
Set aside money if at all possible. Every little bit counts. A friend or family member could hold onto it for you.
Keep a written list of important phone numbers.
Have a bag packed and ready. Keep it hidden.
Have a plan of where you are going that is safe.
Plan the best time when you can leave without disturbances.
As hard as it may be, remember that you must protect yourself in order to protect your children. There are some specific situations where it may be better to leave the children behind to keep from putting them and you in more danger.
Safety Planning Check List
Safety Planning is situation specific and must be planned accordingly. Below are three scenarios to help guide you.
During an Abusive Relationship.
Try to have a phone available to you at all times. A hidden prepaid cell phone would work for an emergency.
Create a code word and/or a visual sign so friends, children, family and neighbors will know that you need help.
If weapons are kept in your house, consider hiding or removing them if it will not further jeopardize your safety.
Identify areas of your home that have an escape route and are free from potential weapons.
If violence cannot be avoided, attempt to make yourself the smallest target possible by curling into a tight ball and covering your head and face with your arms.
Teach your children how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
Make a habit of backing your car into the driveway, keep it filled with gas and lock all the doors except the driver's door. Have a spare car key made and hide it nearby or in the car where it is easy to get to in case of emergency.
Avoid wearing scarves or long necklaces that can be used to strangle you.
After Leaving Your Abuser.
Get an order of protection. Make sure you make copies to keep on your person, in your car, at work and at home. Call the police immediately if the order is broken.
Keep a charged cell phone with you and within easy reach at all times.
Change your regular travel habits and routes to work, school, home, etc.
Inform family and friends of your situation and how they can help keep you safe. (screen calls, avoid giving your personal information or schedule to callers, etc.)
Consider renting a PO Box for mail rather than your address.
Be careful who you share personal information with including phone numbers and addresses.
Alert school authorities about your situation to protect your children.
Reschedule all appointments that your abuser is aware of.
Use different stores than your regular routine ones.
Take care of what information you share online such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Change passwords on your accounts if abuser is aware of them.
The Abuser Left and You Stayed in the Family Home.
Change the locks.
Install motion lights outside.
Have caller ID installed on your phone.
Make sure neighbors are aware that you have a protective order.
Give neighbors a description of abusers vehicle.
Let the police know of your situation so they can do a periodic drive-by.
Always keep your doors locked.
Check identification before you open your door to strangers.