Increase Your Safety
Leaving a violent relationship is the most dangerous time for a victim.
But there is hope. There is help.
A great way to help to break the cycle of violence in your life is by using Safety Planning.
Safety Planning can save you or your loved one's life.
If you feel you are in danger, leave your home before you get abused or before the violence gets worse. You may do that without losing the right to return home. If you leave for safety reasons, you cannot be accused of desertion.
Safety Planning is beneficial for a victim of domestic violence while she/he:
- is in a relationship
- is leaving a relationship
- has left an abusive partner
Here are some ideas you can keep in mind when making your Safety Plan:
- Prepare an emergency kit. It should include items that won't be missed but that could help you if you decide to leave and stay in a safe place: spare and comfort items for you and your children, a spare set of car keys, some, any restraining orders or protection orders that you already have against your partner, prescriptions and/or medicines for you and your children, credit cards, your checkbook, your drivers license, your social security card and other identification. You could also include any special photos that are important to you, along with your address book, current unpaid bills, insurance papers, your marriage license, your divorce papers, title, mortgage papers, and deed. Put the kit where you can get to it quickly, yet it won't be easily found by your partner.
- Make an extra set of keys to the car and house and keep them hidden.
- Don't get trapped. Plan the safest way to get out. Identify dangerous locations in the house and plan for a quick exit so that you do not get trapped in those locations where you have no way out to safety.
- Plan with your children. Identify a safe place to them (room with a lock, a neighbor's house) or the safest, way to get out of the house and out of harm's way. Let them know that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you. Practice with your children for an emergency.
- If you feel comfortable calling the police if the violence starts again...Be sure to plan how you can easily and safely get to the phone to call for help. Is there a phone in a room with a door that locks, so you can stay away from your partner while you call for help? If not, consider making up a code word or signal you can share with your or your neighbors, so that they know they should call the police or get help for you.
You don't have to make your Safety Plan alone. WC&S Advocates on our free and confidential Hotline can help you to make a Safety Plan.
If you would like to discuss Safety Planning or design a Safety Plan to meet your needs, please call our 24-hour free and confidential Hotline at 412-687-8005 or toll-free at 877-338-TALK (8255).
Sharing with someone that you are being abused may be the hardest thing you've ever done, but keep in mind that is a first step in breaking the cycle of violence in your life.
Don't keep abuse a secret. Confide in family members or friends whom you trust. Don't be afraid to ask them for help.
There is help. There is hope.
If you'd like to tell someone at Women's Center & Shelter about what is happening to you, our Hotline Advocates are standing by, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
It's free and confidential to talk to an Advocate about how your partner is treating you.
Call our 24-hour Hotline at 412-687-8005 or
toll free, 877-338-TALK (8255) for help or more information.