A little about me

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Safety plan!

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can be more than just physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs when one partner controls the other using physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or economic abuse. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.
What is this plan?
This is my plan for increasing my safety and preparing me in advance for violence that may happen in the future. I don't have control over my partner’s violence, but I do have a choice about how to respond and how to best get me and my children to safety.

My important telephone numbers

  • Police: 911 and __________________   (Non-Emergency) 
  • Domestic Violence Program/Safe Home: __________________ 
  • District Attorney’s Office __________________
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:  1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Keep these numbers, along with spare change or a calling card, with you at all times for emergency phone calls.

How can I be safe during an assault?

You can't always avoid violence, but you can do a number of things to increase your safety during violent incidents.
I can do some or all of the following:
  • If I decide to leave, I can get out of the house by __________________.  (Practice how to get out safely. What doors or windows will you use?)
  • I can go to __________________.  (Decide this even if you don’t think there will be a next time.)
  • In order to be able to leave quickly, I can keep my purse or wallet and vehicle key ready by putting them __________________. 
  • I can tell __________________, (neighbors) about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from the house.
  • I can teach my children how to use the telephone or radio to contact the police and to get help in an emergency.
  • I can use __________________ as my code word with my children and/or friends when I am in danger, so they will call for help.
  • When I think an argument is about to happen, I can try to move to __________________, a space near an outside door that has no guns, knives or other weapons (usually bathrooms, garages and kitchen areas are dangerous places).
  • I can use my judgment and instincts. If the situation is very serious, I can give my partner what he or she wants to calm him or her down. I have to protect myself until I am out of danger.
  • I can avoid arguments that will trap me in spaces where there isn't an outside door.
  • I can call the police when it is safe, and I can get a protective order from the court.
How can I be safe when I leave my abuser?Leaving must be done with a careful plan to increase safety. Abusers often strike back when they believe their partner is leaving the relationship.
I can do some or all of the following:
  • So I can leave quickly, I can leave money, an extra set of keys, extra clothing and important documents with __________________. 
  • I can keep a bag packed and ready to go in case I need to leave quickly. 
  • I can open a savings account or apply for a credit card to increase my independence. 
  • I can check with __________________ and __________________ to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money.
  • The National Domestic Violence hotline number is:  1-800-799-SAFE (7233).  By calling this free hotline, I can get the number of a shelter near me.
  • I can rehearse my escape plan and, if possible, practice it with my children.
  • I can get a cell phone and keep it with me at all times. (Many times, you can get emergency cell phones from your local domestic violence program.)  I can give my cell phone number to people I know are safe.   
  • I can prevent my email and internet activity from being discovered.  See Below
  • Other things I can do to increase my independence. This is a checklist of what you may want to take with you, if it is safe to do so:
        - Identification
        - Green card
        - Address book
        - Money
        - Credit cards
        - Medications
        - Social Security Cards
        - Keys (house/car/work)
        - Welfare identification
        - Driver’s license/vehicle registration
        - Address book
        - Marriage certificates, birth certificates of children
        - Checkbook, ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) card and other bank books
        - Work permit
        - School and vaccination records
        - Lease/house deed/title
        - Divorce papers
        - Copy of protective order
        - Passport
        - Pets (if you can)
        - Jewelry
        - Clothes
        - Photo Album
        - Children’s special blanket, doll or stuffed animal

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