After Leaving an Abusive Relationship
If you are getting a restraining order and the offender is leaving:
- Change locks and phone number;
- Change work hours and route taken to work;
- Change route taken to transport children to school;
- Keep a certified copy of your restraining order with you at all times;
- Inform friends, neighbors and employers that you have a restraining order in effect;
- Give copies of restraining order to employers, neighbors, and schools along with a picture of the offender.
- Call law enforcement to enforce the order.
If you leave:
- Consider renting a post office box or using the address of a friend for your mail ;
- Be aware that addresses are on restraining orders and police reports;
- Be careful to whom you give your new address and phone number;
- Change your work hours if possible;
- Alert school authorities of situation;
- Consider changing your children's schools;
- Reschedule appointments that offender is aware of;
- Use different stores and frequent different social spots;
- Alert neighbors and request that they call the police if they feel you may be in danger;
- Talk to trusted people about the violence;
- Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors. Install security systems if possible;
- Consider getting an ADT system which is an emergency service for domestic violence victims. The in-home system allows the victim to be able to press an emergency button to summon help from the police.
- Walk around the home and identify any areas that might be a security risk for you; dark areas outside, loose windows that do not lock properly, front door with no peep hole, all of these things can be fixed to keep you safer;
- Install a lighting system that lights up when a person is coming close to the house (motion sensitive lights);
- Tell people you work with about the situation and have your calls screened by one receptionist if possible;
- Ask if someone might be able to walk with you to your car after work;
- If you have a restraining order, keep a copy on you at all times. You may want to keep a copy at work, home, with a trusted friend, family member or neighbor. If the restraining order includes your children, make sure that the children's school, day care or baby sitter has a copy to help you enforce it.
- Tell people who take care of your children which individuals are allowed to pick up your children. Explain your situation to them and provide them with a copy of the restraining order;
- Call the telephone company to request caller ID. Ask that your phone be blocked so that if you call, neither your partner nor anyone else will be able to get your new, unlisted phone number.
Created by K.Siu, 2005.
PERSONALIZED SAFETY PLAN TOOL
The link provided below is a sample personalized safety plan. This is a SAMPLE safety plan tool to assist you in thinking about how you may want to strategize your own safety. If possible, consult with a domestic violence advocate when creating your own plan.