Safety PlanA safety plan is one of the most important things you do.
Separation can be an especially dangerous time. A safety plan is one of the most important things you do. An abuser may become more threatening and difficult if they suspect you will leave, and the threat continues during the months after leaving them. You may be the best judge of how dangerous he or she is by using your own ‘gut’ feelings.
While the information that follows may be helpful to you, please know it is not meant to be used as the only information you need to get and stay safe, nor is it inclusive of all the information you may need.
It is critical that you connect with someone knowledgeable about domestic violence that can help you create a safety plan specifically for you, your family, and your specific needs. Call our 24-hour, 7days a week hotline at 860-527-0550 and and let us help you.
IF YOU ARE IN THE RELATIONSHIP
Plan ahead where you can go if the abuser shows signs of escalating. Make a list of safe people to contact (DV program, friends, relatives, attorney, and important persons/services). Have numbers for local domestic violence programs. Pack and have ready a bag or suitcase of essentials, including medications.
Obtain and secure personal documents and information for you, and if you have children, for them as well: birth certificates, driver’s license, social security cards, immunization records, passports, licenses, bank accounts, debit and credit cards, checkbooks, W-2s, pay stubs, insurance cards and policies, school records, clothing, and keys. Any documentation that you might have about the abuse, including pictures, recordings, medical records, and police reports are also very important to have. Include cash if you can and any other valuables that you don’t want to leave behind. Keep in mind that large items like furniture might not be possible to hide.
Find a safe place to hide these — with a friend, relative, and/or another place the abuser cannot access.
When leaving an abusive relationship, it is important to take with you the documents that you will need to get the resources and help you will require. You will need your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to verify your identity. Other important documents you will need include: social security cards (for yourself and any children), leases and deeds (that have your name attached), credit and debit cards, pay stubs, w-2s, insurance policies, bank statements, and check books. Also, take any documentation that you might have about the abuse including pictures, recordings, medical records, and police reports. Never take the risk of being alone with the abuser when retrieving your things; ask for a police escort or bring friends with you.
Please consult the two comprehensive guides provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, links below.
If you are in the relationship