One of the most important steps you can take for yourself is to create a safety plan for protection, even if you don’t think that you need one. When violence has occurred once in a relationship, it is likely to happen again. Here are some things to consider in making a personal safety plan:
BEFORE THE NEXT TIME:
- Decide and plan where you will go if you leave home. Have a bag packed and ready with some toiletries and extra cash. Keep a copy of important paperwork in a secret but accessible place in case you need to leave quickly.
- Teach your children how to dial 9-1-1. Identify a safe place for them to go if violence does erupt in the home. Have a safe word that you practice with the children. If they hear this word, it is their cue to leave the home and get help.
- Tell someone you trust about your situation. Let someone know what is going on so they are looking out for you and check in on you. Tell someone at work so you can be escorted to and from your car. Try not to be left alone.
- Change your routine. Consider making daily changes to your routine, drive a different route, shop at a different store, and change your work hours.
DURING THE NEXT TIME:
- If at all possible, LEAVE. Locate your escape items and go, or get a room with a lock on the door and a phone nearby.
- SCREAM so that someone may hear you and call the police.
- If you have talked about if before hand, have your child call 911.
- If you leave by car, lock your car doors and do no unlock the doors until you arrive at a safe place.
- If you cannot leave, protect yourself to the best of your ability.
ALWAYS trust your instincts. You know your relationship and the abusers volatility. There are people that are trained to help you, you just have to reach out.