How do I know I’m in an abusive situation?

3. Make a safety plan

Your safety and your children’s safety are the most important things to think about, whether you leave or not.

Think about safe places to go. In your home, think of rooms that have ways to escape and doors that lock. It’s a good idea to have a phone in that room or take a phone with you in case you need to call someone for help.

Some places might not be safe. For example, the kitchen might not be safe because your partner could use a knife or heavy saucepan to hurt you.

If you can leave your home safely, think about places you can go. If you have a neighbour who you trust, you can ask if you can use their home as a safe place. They might even give you an extra key to their home.

Find out where the closest shelter for abused women is located so you can go there if you need to.

What your plan should include

You should also make a detailed safety plan. Your can include things like:

  • an emergency escape plan
  • a code word to use with your children so they know when to run to safety and call for help
  • things to pack in an emergency bag if you need to leave home quickly
  • a list of important documents to set aside or copy
  • asking neighbours or friends to call the police if they hear fighting or loud noises, or if they see anything suspicious
  • learning the telephone number of a local shelter

You can also get help to make your safety plan.

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