In most cases, if a woman is being battered (physically, emotionally, mentally, or sexually) and has to leave quickly, she does not have time to prepare. If you suspect that you may need to leave at some point in the future for either your safety or your children’s safety, plan for it.
The attached document was created by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. It walks you through 8 different steps to consider ahead of time to increase your safety against the possibility of further violence. Although you do not have control over your partner’s violence, you do have a choice about how to respond to him/her, but it helps if we can first look at the different aspect if what you may encounter so you can be prepared.
STEP 1: Know strategies to avoid violent incidents.
STEP 2: Safely preparing to leave with a careful plan.
STEP 3: Increase safety within your own residence.
STEP 4: An Order of Protection may be necessary, as well as asking the police and the courts to enforce the protective order.
STEP 5: Reaching out to friends, family and co-works can help, but each woman should carefully consider which people to invite to help secure her safety.
STEP 6: Drug (legal and illegal) or alcohol use can put you at a disadvantage in other legal actions with the battering partner. Therefore, women should carefully consider the potential risks. Beyond this, the use of alcohol or other drugs can reduce a woman’s awareness and ability to act quickly to protect herself from her battering partner. Furthermore, the use of alcohol or other drugs by the batterer may give him an excuse to use violence. Specific safety plans must be made concerning drugs or alcohol use.
STEP 7: Safety and emotional health. The experience of being battered and/or verbally degraded by partners is usually exhausting and emotionally draining. The process of building a new life takes much courage and incredible energy.
STEP 8: It is important to take certain items if/when you leave. Prepare for it by giving an extra copy of papers and an extra set of clothing to a friend in case you have to leave quickly.
Create your plan here
(or go to: http://www.ncdsv.org/images/DV_Safety_Plan.pdf)