If you are currently living in an abusive situation, you need to think about safety planning.

  • In case you might have to leave in a hurry make sure you keep a small bag with some things in it with a safe person, or at a safe place in the house. It should have some money, important phone numbers of shelters, agencies, and friends, and important documents or at least copies of the documents if you have them. Check the leaving checklist for a full list.

  • If your partner attacks you or tries to hurt you physically or is yelling, screaming and intimidating, you can call 911. When the police come, ask for a police report. Take pictures of your bruises and injuries. You can ask the police for an EPRO (temporary restraining order) if you are afraid that the batterer will harm you once the police are gone.

  • Talk to neighbors and friends about the violence. Develop a code word that you can call and tell them so that they will know that you need to get out of the house now. Tell your neighbors to call the police if they hear screaming or suspicious noises coming from your house.

  • If you leave, try and take your children with you.

  • If you cannot leave safely, try and keep your back toward an open space, not a corner. Make sure you avoid the bathroom, kitchen or the garage, places where there are sharp or heavy objects and surfaces.

Remember: nobody deserves to be abused. Abuse is illegal in this country.