SAFETY & ESCAPE PLAN
BEFORE A VIOLENT INCIDENT OCCURS
• Teach your children to call 911.
• Identify neighbors you can tell about the violence in your life and ask them to call the police if they hear or see a disturbance.
• Develop a code word or signal to use so family, friends, or neighbors will know you are in danger and call the police.
• Open your own savings account to increase your independence.
• Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust.
DURING A VIOLENT INCIDENT
• Call 911 or local police.
• If an argument starts, stay close to an exit.
• Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, or any other room where possible weapons are within easy reach.
• Get away! Try to get to your bag, but if it's too dangerous, just leave it. Go to a relative's, friend's, or the Women's Center shelter.
• Use your judgment and intuition. If the situation is very dangerous, can you give the abuser what he/she wants to calm him/her down? You have to protect yourself and your kids until you are out of danger.
AFTER A VIOLENT INCIDENT
• Get medical attention immediately. Ask for pictures to be taken of your injuries.
• Make a police report.
• Put evidence for future use in a safe place. Evidence would be medical records, police reports, dated photos of your injuries, or dated photos of the house in disarray, torn clothing, any weapons used, and statements from anyone who saw the attack.
• Go to court and seek an Order of Protection. The legal advocate at The Women's Center can help you with this (618-549-4807, ext. 224).
• Attend a support group for survivors of domestic violence.
• Change your locks.
WARNING: YOUR COMPUTER MAY NOT BE SAFE FROM THE EYES OF YOUR ABUSER. READ THIS INTERNET SAFETY ALERT
• Decide ahead of time where you can go if you decide to leave - to a friend's or family member’s home or the Women's Center shelter.
• Keep the Women's Center toll-free hotline phone number close at hand.
• Figure out the quickest way out of your home and practice the escape.
• Obtain an Order of Protection.
• Pack a bag and have it stashed in a secret place you can get to easily. Place items in it such as cash, checkbook, credit cards, ATM cards, driver's license, registration, Social Security Card, passport, Green Card, Public Assistance ID, work permit, clothing, keys (house, car, work), medication.
• Review your Safety Plan often.