Remember that some victims of domestic violence are in more danger when they leave an abusive relationship. It is advised that you develop a “safety plan” to have in place to be used when needed.
Suggestions for victims of abusive relationships:
If an argument seems unavoidable, try to get to an area where you will have access to an exit. Try to avoid the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere weapons may be available.
Practice in advance how you can get out of your home safely.
Have a packed bag of essentials ready if you have to leave quickly. Hide it in a safe place.
Identify someone you trust to discuss your domestic violence situation with. Advise them to call the police if they hear or see a violent incident occurring.
Devise a code word, or another signal you can use with family, friends, or neighbors to alert them that the police should be called. Work out a system with your children as well.
Make a plan in advance regarding where you will go if you have to leave the home. Do this even if the situation is “not so bad” at the present.
You must use your own judgment and instincts when it comes to the safety of you and your children. If the situation is extremely dangerous, and you feel that your life is in danger, consider giving the abuser what he or she wants if it will keep you safe. You have a right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
Safety on the job and in public:
Inform your employer about your domestic violence situation. It could save your life. Discuss some safety planning with the office or building security. Provide a picture of your abuser if possible.
Devise a safety plan with those you work with. Have someone escort you to your car, or public transportation if possible. Use different routes to go home if you can.
If you have a protective order, you must keep a copy on you at all times. Advise your employer that you have one and what it means. Call the police if your abuser violates the order.
If you choose to remain with the abuser, it is advisable to have and discuss an alternate plan with someone you trust.
Remember: No one has the right to abuse or threaten you!