- Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives, there).
- Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you.
- Get to a room with a door or a window to escape.
- Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can.
- Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help.
- Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help.
- If a police officer comes, tell them what happened; get their name & badge number if you can.
- Get medical help if you are hurt.
- Take pictures of bruises or injuries and keep them somewhere safe.
- Call a domestic violence program or shelter such as R.E.A.C.H. of Macon County and ask them to help you make a
safety plan (<<<Click to make your own safety plan)
- Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers
- Keep a phone inside a room which you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times.
- If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your doors; get locks on windows.
- Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children.
- Think about where you would go if you need to escape.
- Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; create a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice and then the person hangs up, or a certain shade is pulled down or a light is on in a certain room.
- Pack a bag with important things you'd need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust
- Include cash, car keys & important information such as: court papers, passport, birth certificates, medical records & medicines, immigration papers
- Get an unlisted phone number
- Block caller ID
- Use an answering machine; screen calls
- Take a good self-defense course
- Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help
- Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address & phone number to the police
- Teach them who to call for help
- Give the principal at their school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo of the abuser
- Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser
- Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE
- Keep a copy of your court order at work
- Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work
- Tell your supervisors - see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
- Don't go to lunch alone
- Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus
- If the abuser contacts you at work, save voice mails and save e-mails
- Your employer may be able to help you find community resources
Protection or Restraining Orders
- Ask your local domestic violence program who can help you get a civil protection order and who can help you with criminal prosecution
In most places, the Judge can:
- Order the abuser to stay away from you or your
- Order the abuser to leave your home
- Give you temporary custody of your children &
order the abuser to pay you temporary child support
- Order the police to come to your home while the
abuser picks up personal belongings
- Give you possession of the car, furniture and other
- Order the abuser to go to a batterers intervention
- Order the abuser not to call you at work
- Order the abuser to give guns to the police
- Show the prosecutor your court orders
- Show the prosecutor any medical records related to injuries, pictures, or visits related to the domestic or sexual violence.
- Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer)
- Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries or abuse
- Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if the abuser is getting out of jail
- Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you don't have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don't have to talk to the abuser's family or friends if they are there
- In many courthouses, there is a private room for survivors to wait. Ask your advocate.
- Bring a friend or relative with you to wait until your case is heard
- Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the abuser and ask him/her to look out for you
- Make sure you have your court order before you leave
- Ask the Judge or the Sheriff to keep the abuser there for a while when court is over; leave quickly
- If you think the abuser is following you when you leave, call the police immediately
- If you have to travel to another State for work or to get away from the abuser, take your protection order with you; it is valid everywhere