Staying Safe
Victims of domestic violence are in an extremeley dangerous situation. Whether a victim is still with the abuser, or planning on leaving, below are some simple guidelines that can help a victim.

If you live with an abusive partner:
  • Stay away from areas like the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or anywhere weapons might be available during an argument.
  • When possible, remove, hide or lock up any firearms in the household.
  • Identify a safe exit from the home, e.g. door, windows, elevators and stairwell.
  • Always have a packed bag ready.
  • Discuss the situation with your neighbors. Ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance.
  • Find a code word to use with friends, children and neighbors, when you need the police.
  • Decide on a place to stay if you leave the environment, even if you do not think you need to.
  • Always remember: you do not deserve to be hit or threatened.

If you are planning to leave
  • Open a bank account in your own name.
  • Leave money, extra keys, copies of documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  • Determine who your resources are if you need shelter or money.
  • Have change on hand for any emergency calls that need to be made.
  • Remember you and your children's safety comes first.

Once you are out of the batterer's environment:
  • Change locks on your doors.
  • Discuss safety plans with your children
  • Inform children's school about who has permission to pick them up.
  • Inform neighbors that if they see your abuser to call the police
  • Show neighbors a photo.  Tell them about your Order of Protection (Restraining Order)
  • Keep Order of Protection with you at all times.
  • Call the police if you are concerned about your safety.
  • Make photocopies of your Order of Protection and give it to the children's school, your employer, your neighbors and your local police department.
  • Screen your telephone calls at home and work.
  • Whenever possible have someone escort you to your car or walk out of an area with other people.
  • If communication is necessary between you and your partner, meet in public places or decide on a third party to contact and relay messages.
  • Always keep yourself informed on the dynamics of domestic violence and talk freely and openly with people who can provide you with support. 


What to take when you leave:

  • Driver's license or military identification
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Passports
  • Insurance documents

  • Money and credit cards
  • Bank information and check books
  • Savings bonds
  • Food stamps

Legal Papers:
  • Order of Protection (Restraining Order)
  • Car registration/insurance papers
  • Copy of lease
  • Medical and school records
  • Separation/custody papers
  • Power of Attorney/Will

  • Medications/prescriptions
  • Keys to home and car
  • Address book/telephone cards
  • Clothes

Hotline Phone Numbers

Domestic Violence Hotline:
800.621.HOPE (4673)

Crime Victims Hotline:
866.689.HELP (4357)

Rape & Sexual Assault Hotline:

TDD phone number for all hotlines:
BEFORE you leave, please review a
Safety Plan!