If you are still in the relationship:
- Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with potential weapons (kitchen).
- Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
- Memorize all important numbers (SSN, phone numbers, etc).
- Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say to your partner if he\she becomes violent.
Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.
If you have left the relationship:
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls (get caller ID or let your machine pick up and listen before answering).
- Think about social media safety (making accounts private, un-friending individuals, and don’t post plans)
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer (make a copy of this and put it in a safe place or with a safe friend).
- Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place (shopping mall, coffee shop, restaurant).
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
- Call a shelter for battered women or come to the Family Justice Center Sonoma County .
- Open up a checking/savings account in only your name. Do not continue to use your joint account.
If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.
- Social security cards
- Birth certificates for you and your children
- Your marriage license (or domestic partnership papers)
- Leases or deeds in your name or both yours and your partner’s names
- Checkbook, charge cards, statements and charge account statements
- Insurance policies
- Proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2’s)
- Any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)