If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit and not in the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.
Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevators, or stairs would be best.
Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
If the situation is very dangerous, use your own instincts and judgments to keep yourself safe. Call the police as soon as it is safe to do so. (You have the ability to obtain a protective order at your local court during business hours and through local police during the night and weekends.)
Always Remember – YOU HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE ABUSED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP – PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND SEXUALLY!
Safety In Your Home
Inform neighbors and landlord when your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see your abuser near your home.
Rehearse a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them –
Let daycare and schools know who can pick them up and provide copies of protective order and/or custody papers, if available. Let your child know who they CANNOT go with.
If the child(ren) are older and leaving them alone is unavoidable, let a neighbor you trust know so they can help keep an eye out on the property. Also, leave important numbers, such as the sheriff department by all phones for easier access.
Change/Add locks on your doors and windows as soon as possible. Add a peephole and increase out-door lighting if possible. Try to borrow or get a cellular phone if you don’t already have one.
Change your telephone number and request with the telephone company for it to be unlisted. For cell phones, contact your cell phone provider and ask if they can block certain incoming calls due to harassment, along with changing your number.
Get a P.O. Box to avoid physical locations. You can also call our hotline at 1-888-228-8122, to get more information about Missouri’s Safe at Home program for address changes.
Safety with a Protective Order
Have a copy of your order of protection with you at all times.
Make several copies and leave at work, school (yours and children’s), each glove box of your vehicles, purse, diaper bag, etc.
Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
Keep a log of each violation; date, time, where, what was said, and who you reported it to.
If violation occurs over telephone, request to fill out a statement when you call the police or sheriff’s department to have it on record.
Use ideas generated from above plans to incorporate until police arrive.
Inform family, friends, neighbors, employer, and school that you have a protective order in effect.
Safety in Public and on the Job
·Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security (provide a picture of your batterer if possible).
·Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if available.
·Devise a safety plan for when you’re at work. Ask your employer if they have suggestions. Review the fire escape plan for your work and see how that coordinates with your plan.
·Use various routes for when you go to work.
oAlso, change your schedule of when you grocery shop, pay bills, etc. This makes it harder to track your activities.
Your Safety & Emotional Health
If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
Plan to attend a support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.
Decide whom you can call freely and openly to give you the support you need.
Read books, articles, and poetry to help you feel stronger.
Remember – YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO FEEL AFRAID IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP!
Click here for information for preparing to leave your partner.