While many causes of violence are beyond a victim’s immediate control, there are steps you can take now to prepare if you are thinking about leaving a violent relationship or situation.
Talk to people you trust.
Tell trusted friends, family, teachers, neighbors, and co-workers about what is going on. Let them know ways they can help, like accompanying you in public, keeping documents for safekeeping, or contacting the police if you are in danger.
Memorize important numbers.
When you leave, you may not be able to take your phone. Make sure you know important numbers, including friends and family who can help and hotline numbers.
Plan an escape route.
Think about the fastest and safest way to exit your home in a hurry. Try to avoid rooms with no escape routes or containing potential weapons, like the kitchen. Consider where you will go, safe transportation options, and the best public transit route. Find out where the closest police station, fire department, and hospital are located.
Prepare an emergency bag.
Include money, keys, copies of important documents (see below for a list), and a change of clothing for you and your children. Keep it hidden or leave it with a trusted friend.
Compile important documents.
These might include IDs, social security cards, immigration documents, birth certificates, health insurance information, and your Order of Protection.
Take financial safety steps.
Open a bank account or obtain a credit card in your own name and have an emergency fund, if possible.
Learn about online and technological safety.
Your computer or phone may be monitored, before and after you leave.
Take precautions once you leave.
Change up your daily routine, including work hours and the routes you walk or drive. Change locks and ensure windows are secure. Let neighbors, landlords, employers, and school staff know to contact the police if the abuser approaches you, your home, or your children.