violent relationship puts you and your children at
risk for injury and even death. Making a plan will help provide for your
safety and your children's safety. Know that leaving an abusive relationship can be the most dangerous time for you.
Contact a local advocacy group for support,
information, and advice on how to stay safe. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), or see the website at www.ndvh.org for the nearest advocacy
program. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English,
Spanish, and other languages.
Also, see the National Coalition Against Domestic
Violence's website at www.ncadv.org/resources/state.htm to find the program
nearest to you that offers shelter and legal support.
Steps to take when preparing to leave
Be aware that cell phones can contain GPS tracking devices. If possible, plan to get a new phone and new service plan when you leave. Don't take your original phone with you when you leave.
Try to set aside money, even in small amounts. Start your own savings or checking account. Use the address of a trusted friend or family member when setting up the account.
Make a list of people you can call in an emergency and places you can go. Memorize important numbers. Teach your children how to call for help in an emergency.
Have a packed bag ready with items to take when you leave. Keep it hidden in your home, or leave the bag with friends or family or at work if possible.
If you don't have a cell phone, keep change
with you at all times for phone calls. Remember that any long-distance calls or
calls you have made on a telephone card before you leave can show up on
statements and point your abuser in your direction.
At work, tell
your supervisor and the human resources manager about your situation. Discuss
scheduling options and other safety precautions to provide for your well-being.
Give a recent photo of the abuser to your human resources manager, and if
possible, ask to prohibit the abuser's access to your workplace.
You can ask a police officer to be present at your home when
you leave or when you need to collect clothing or property from your