You can take steps to protect yourself from abuse.
The most important way to stay safe is to have a safety plan in place at all times. Here are some tips for staying safe.
General Safety Tips
- Call 911 or your local police department if you are in immediate danger.
- Learn your partner’s warning signals so you can get out before the violence starts.
- Have a safety plan in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Talk with your children. They know that you’re hurting and probably fear for your safety. They may want to leave as much as you do.
- Call friends and relatives you can trust and talk about your concerns. You may discover that they are worried about you but don’t know how to ask you about the abuse.
- Call Turning Point’s 24HR Helpline at 610-437-3369. Staff can help you explore your feelings and choices.
Tips for Yourself
- Make sure you know the best way to get help quickly.
- Keep a phone in a room with a lock or keep your cell phone with you at all times.
- If the person abusing you has moved out, be sure to change your locks. Keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
- Have your escape plan memorized, and make sure you tell your children what to do in case of an emergency.
- Keep your neighbors informed. Tell them to call the police if they see your abuser near your property.
- Keep an emergency bag handy in case you need to leave quickly. Either keep it in an easily accessible place or give it to a friend or family member.
- This bag should include:
- birth certificates for your children and yourself
- social security cards
- copies of school and medical records
- money and credit cards
- keys to your house and car
- your driver’s license and registration
- medications for yourself and children
- change of clothes, passports and working papers
- deed to the house or rental agreement
- current unpaid bills
- divorce papers
- address book
- pictures and items of sentimental value
- children’s favorite toys.
- Get an unlisted phone number.
- Screen all of your phone calls.
- Sign up for a self-defense course. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
Tips for Your Children
- Be sure to tell your children what to do in case of an emergency. Practice leaving your home quickly and arrange a nearby meeting place.
- Let your children know the right time to dial 911.
- Be very clear to the school who is and isn’t allowed to pick them up. Make sure your children know to never leave with a stranger, even if the teacher says it is okay.
- Make sure the school does not provide your address or phone number to anyone.
- Set a code word with your child, and make sure he or she does not leave with someone who does not know the word.
In addition, if you have a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order, be sure the school has a copy.