If you are thinking about leaving a violent relationship or situation, there are steps you can take now to prepare. Everyone’s situation is unique, so here are some suggestions to get you started:
Talk to people you trust
Tell trusted friends, family, teachers, neighbors, and co-workers about what is going on. Let them know ways they can help, like accompanying you in public, keeping documents for safekeeping, or contacting the police if you are in danger.
Memorize important numbers
When you leave, you may not be able to take your phone. Make sure you know important numbers, including friends and family who can help and hotline numbers.
Plan an escape route
Think about the fastest and safest way to exit your home in a hurry. Try to avoid rooms with no escape routes or containing potential weapons, like the kitchen. Consider where you will go, safe transportation options, and the best public transit route. Find out where the closest police station, fire department, and hospital are located.
Prepare an emergency bag
Include money, keys, copies of important documents (see below for a list), and a change of clothing for you and your children. Keep it hidden or leave it with a trusted friend.
Compile important documents
These might include IDs, social security cards, immigration documents, birth certificates, health insurance information, and your Order of Protection.
Take financial safety steps
Open a bank account or obtain a credit card in your own name and have an emergency fund, if possible.
Learn about online and technological safety
Your computer or phone may be monitored, before and after you leave.
Learn more about computer safety
Take precautions once you leave
Change up your daily routine, including work hours and the routes you walk or drive. Change locks and ensure windows are secure. Let neighbors, landlords, employers, and school staff know to contact the police if the abuser approaches you, your home, or your children.