Sanctuary for the Abused
Friday, April 28, 2006
ADVICE FOR EVERY ABUSED PERSON
(change female pronouns to male, if the case applies)
DURING AN EXPLOSIVE INCIDENT
• If there is an argument, try to be in a place that has an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen or other room that may contain weapons.
• Practice getting out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairwell to use.
• Pack a bag and have it ready at a friend or relative’s house.
• Identify neighbors you can talk to about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance from your home.
• Devise a code with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
• Decide where you will go if you ever have to leave home.
• Use your instinct and judgment. In a dangerous situation, placate the abuser if possible, to keep the abuser calm.
WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE
• Open a checking or savings account in your own name.
• Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes and medicine in a safe place or with someone you trust.
• Get your own post office box.
• Find a place where you and your children can go or a person who can lend you money.
• Always keep the shelter phone number (collect calls accepted) and some change and a calling card on you for emergency calls. 911 calls are free from pay phones.
• If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place.
WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU
• Identification: driver’s license; children’s birth certificates; your birth certificate; social security cards; welfare identification
• Financial: money and/or credit cards; bank books; check books
• Legal Papers: your Protective Order; lease, rental agreement or house deed; car registration and insurance papers; health and life insurance papers; medical records for you and your child; work permits, green card or VISA; passport; divorce papers; custody papers
• Other: house and car keys; medications; change of clothes for you and your child; address book; phone card; pictures of you, your child and your abuser
WITH A PROTECTIVE ORDER
• If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted, you can request a Protective Order from your District or County Attorney.
• Always keep your Protective Order with you.
• Call the police immediately if your abuser violates the Protective Order.
• Inform family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors that you have a Protective Order in effect.
• Think of alternative ways to stay safe if the police do not respond immediately
IN YOUR OWN RESIDENCE
• If you stay in your home, lock your windows and change the locks on the doors.
• Develop a safety plan with your children for times when you are with them and when you are not with them.
• Present any court orders pertaining to your child’s school, daycare, etc. about who has permission to pick up your child.
• Inform your neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see your abuser near your home.
• Never call the abuser from your home. The abuser may find out where you live. Never tell them where you live.
• Request an unlisted, unpublished number from the phone company.
ON THE JOB AND IN PUBLIC
• Decide whom at work you will inform about your situation. Include the office building security, and provide a picture of your abuser if you are able.
• When at work, if possible, have someone screen your phone calls.
• Have someone escort you to and from your car, bus or train.
• If possible, use a variety of routes to travel to and from work.
SECURITY AT THE COURTHOUSE
• Sit as far away from the abuser as possible. Remember you do not have to look at or talk to your abuser or the abuser’s family or friends.
• Take a friend or an advocate from your Shelter or DV Facility with you to wait until your case is heard.
• Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of your abuser and ask them to look out for you.
• Make sure you have your court order before you leave.
• Leave quickly and ask the judge or sheriff to keep the abuser there for a while when court is over.
• Drive to the closest police or fire station if you think the abuser is following you when you leave.
• If you have to travel to another state to go to court or get away from your abuser, take your Protective Order with you. It is valid everywhere.
CELL PHONE INFORMATION
• A cell phone with a battery and charger can be used to dial 911. You do not need to pay a monthly fee for 911 only access.
• The phone must be charged in order to access police.
• Be sure to identify the city and address you are calling from so the 911 dispatcher can assist you effectively.
• If you need a free cell phone for 911 only access, please contact a Women's Shelter or Victims Assistance