Leaving As Safely As Possible
If your friend, family member or coworker is thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, it’s a good idea for her to make a safety plan
ahead of time. There are several key things she may want to consider. In helping her plan for her safety, suggest that she may want to:
• Call a domestic violence program for help and advice on what is best for her specific situation. Christos House can provide help and referrals to local programs.
• Think about the safest time to get away, if she chooses to leave.
• Hide an extra set of keys, some money and clothes at work or a friend’s house, and collect important papers, such as passports, birth certificates, checkbooks and identification, for herself and her children.
• Tell her doctor about the abuse and ask him or her to document it in her medical file.
• Keep any evidence of abuse, such as photos of bruises and injuries, or ripped clothing—all of this will be helpful if she decides to take legal action in the future. She may want to consider documenting the abuse with police as well.
• Open a savings account in her own name and begin to establish a credit history independent of her partner.
• Consider obtaining a protective order.
• Review the safety of her childcare arrangements. She may want to give a picture of her batterer and a copy of her protective order to the day-care provider. If necessary, she may consider selecting a new day-care site.
• Save any threatening e-mails or voicemail messages. She can use these to take legal action in the future, if she chooses to. If she already has a protective order, the messages can serve as evidence in court that the order was violated.
Below, you will find a link to a .pdf with thorough safety planning during the abusive relationship, when planning to leave, leaving, and after leaving.