Planning For Safety

Good morning! A little about me: I have survived multiple abuses and that is why I became a counselor. I hope my posts will help someone somewhere. This post is for someone who has time to plan leaving their abuser and leaving quickly.

If you have time to plan, start putting aside cash—again, preferably somewhere other than your house. Leave some clothes and important items with a friend in case you have to leave your house quickly. And start documenting every incident of physical or emotional abuse in your household, whether it involves you or your kids. Make a note of the date and time the incident occurred, and exactly what happened.
In addition, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) advises that you:

*Make a list of safe people to contact
*Keep change (for a pay phone, as you may find yourself without a cell phone) with you at all times, as well as cash for living expenses and
*Establish a code word with family, friends, and coworkers so that you can tell them to call for help without alerting the abuser.

You should also prepare to take important papers with you. Having the right documents will help you take legal action or apply for benefits after you leave. Again, the NCADV offers good advice, suggesting you take:

*Your credit cards and checkbook
*Social security cards
*Birth certificates
*Copies of deeds, leases and insurance policies
*Proof of income for you and the abusive spouse or partner, such as pay stubs or copies of W-2 forms
*Copies of bank or credit card statements if you cannot easily access them online, and
*Any documentation that proves past abuse, including photographs, police reports or medical records.

On the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, you can use their “Interactive Guide to Safety Planning” to create a safety plan or read through the information to identify your safety options.

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