Prepare for emergencies
Prepare for emergencies
Whether or not you are ready to leave your abuser, there are things that you can do to protect yourself.
These safety tips can make the difference between being severely injured or killed and escaping with your life.
Prepare for emergencies:
Identify safe areas of the house. Know where it’s safe to go when the abuse or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits such as wardrobes and bathrooms or rooms with weapons such as the kitchen.
Head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window.
Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Have several believable excuses at hand for reasons to leave the house if you sense trouble.
Have a code word. Come up with a code word, phrase or signal you can use to let your friends, family, neighbours, children, co-workers know that you are in danger and the police should be called.
Make an escape plan:
Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. If you drive, keep the car fuelled and facing the exit. Hide a spare car key where you can get to it quickly. If you don’t drive ask several trusted friends if you can contact them for a lift in an emergency. Or ask them to contact the police for you.
Have emergency cash, clothing, ID and documents, phone numbers stored at a trusted friend or relative’s house.
Practice escaping quickly and safely. Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if you are under attack. If you have children, have them practice with you.
Protecting yourself after you have left:
Keeping yourself safe from your abuser is just as important after you have left as it was before. To protect yourself, you may need to relocate so that your abuser cannot find you. If you have children, they may need to switch schools.
If you are remaining in the same area, change your routine. Take a new route to work, avoid places where your abuser might think to locate you.
Change any appointments that they know about. Find new places to shop. Keep a fully charged mobile phone on you at all times. Be ready to call the police.
You may want to consider getting a restraining order against your abuser.
Create new usernames and passwords for your email, online banking, Facebook etc. Even if you do not think your abuser has your passwords, they may have guessed or used a spyware / key log programme to get your details.
Choose passwords that your abuser can not guess. Avoid birthdays, names and personal information.