If you are still in an abusive relationship:
- Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom) or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
- Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Memorize all important numbers.
- Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say to your partner if he/she becomes violent.
Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.
If you have left the relationship:
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
- Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
- Call a shelter for battered women.
If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.
Important papers you should take include:
- social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children,
- your marriage license,
- leases or deeds in your name or both of your names,
- your checkbook,
- your charge cards,
- bank statements and charge account statements,
- insurance policies,
- proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2′s) and
- any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.).
Provided by National Coalition Against Domestic Violence