If you are living in an abusive relationship, denying or minimizing the abuse is dangerous. It usually gets worse over time. Plan what you will do in a crisis.
The most important thing is to make sure that you and your children are safe. Some important tips to help you plan for your safety are:
- If you do not have a vehicle, keep enough money for a taxi in a safe place. If you don’t have any money and need to get to the shelter, we will send a taxi to get you.
- Plan your escape route: decide in advance where to go (friend, relative, motel, shelter).
- If possible plan to leave when your partner is not home.
- Prepare your children by talking about the importance of safety. Teach older children to call 911 or a relative, or a friend when they hear or see violence happening to you.
- Take your children with you, if you can. This helps ensure the children’s physical safety. See a lawyer as soon as possible about arranging custody of the children.
- Plan ahead for the care of your pets or let us know and we will help you arrange for the care of your pets.
- Work out a code word to use on the phone with someone you trust if you are in danger.
Gather together the following items for you and your children:
- Birth certificates for you and your children
- Health cards for you and your children
- Social insurance card
- School and medical records
- Money, bank books, credit cards
- Driver’s license, insurance, registration
- Medication and prescriptions for you and your children
- Passport, immigration papers, citizenship papers
- Mortgage information, house deed, lease or rental agreement, insurance papers
- Address book and list of important phone numbers
- Pictures, jewellery, personal items of sentimental value
- Children’s favourite toys, blankets
- Any legal document; separation agreement, divorce papers, restraining order
Store all of the above with a trusted friend or in a safe place so they can be packed in a hurry.