General Safety Tips

  • During an argument, or if you feel tension building, avoid areas in your home where weapons might be available – the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or workshops.
  • If there are weapons in your household such as firearms – lock them up!
  • Know where there is a safe exit from your home – a window, elevator or stairwell.
  • Discuss the situation with a trusted neighbor if you can. Ask them to call 911 if they hear a disturbance. Find a code word to use with them if you need the police.
  • Always keep a packed bag ready.
  • Know where you would go to be safe if you have to leave, even if you don’t really think you need to.
Remember that no one ever deserves to be abused. It is not your fault!

Steps to take if you are planning to leave your situation…

  • Open a bank account in your own name.
  • Give an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra clothes and some money to a trusted friend or neighbor in case you have to leave quickly.
  • Think about who your best resources are if you need to find shelter or money.
  • Have a cell phone on hand to make emergency calls. (contact Mutual Ground if you need a 911 emergency cell phone)
Remember that your safety and that of your children should always come first!

Things to take with you…

Identification:
___ Birth certificate(s)
___ Driver’s License/ Military ID
___ Social Security Card(s)
___ Passport(s)
___ Insurance documents

Financial:
___ Money/credit cards
___ Checkbooks, bankbooks
___ Savings bonds
___ Food stamps

Legal Papers:
___ Copy of your Order of Protection
___ Car registration/ insurance papers
___ Copy of lease/ deed to home
___ Medical and school records
___ Separation/ custody papers
___ Power of attorney/will

Other:
___ Medications, prescriptions
___ Keys to home and vehicles
___ Address book/ telephone cards
___ Clothes

Once you have left: more steps to safety

  • Keep your Order of Protection with you at all times.
  • Give photocopies of your Order of Protection to your children’s school, your employer, your neighbors, as well as your local police department.
  • Change the locks on your doors.
  • Discuss safety plans with your children.
  • Inform children’s school about who has permission to pick up your children.
  • Ask neighbors to call the police if they see your abuser nearby. Show your neighbors a photo of the abuser and tell them about your Order of Protection.
  • Ask someone to screen your telephone calls at home and at work.
  • Take a different route to work and school/Park in a different place/borrow someone else’s car
  • Have someone escort you to your car or walk with other people if possible.
  • If communication is necessary between you and your partner, meet in public places or have a third party make contact and relay messages.
  • Talk with people who can provide you with support on domestic violence issues.
Mutual Ground provides free services for victims of domestic abuse. 24-Hour Crisis Line: 630-897-0080. Bilingual, bicultural victim advocates available.