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Domestic Violence

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The following suggestions are provided to assist you in considering alternatives to keep yourself and your children safe.
- Try to be in a place that has an exit and not a bathroom, kitchen or room that might have weapons.
- Know ways to leave your home safely such as doors, windows, elevators and stairwells.
- Try to find a neighbor that you can tell about the violence. Ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Develop a code to relay to children, family, friends, or neighbors when you need someone to call the police.
- Think ahead about where you will go if you ever have to leave your home.
- Always use your instincts and judgment in a dangerous situation.
- Try to keep the abuser calm until you are able to reach a safe place.

The following is information about what you can choose to do if you want to prepare to leave.
- Open a checking account or savings account in your own name.
- IF IT IS SAFE FOR YOU TO DO SO - leave money, keys, copies of important documents, extra clothes, medicines, and phone numbers in a safe place or with someone that you trust. Do not do this if you think the abuser might find the belongings and retaliate against you.
- Have your own Post Office Box.
- Find a safe place for you and your children to go.
- Contact a friend that you feel comfortable borrowing money from if you have to.
- Keep the shelter phone number, change for making a call, or a phone card on you for emergency phone calls.
- Arrange for family pets to be cared for in a safe place.

Always Remember that leaving your batterer is the
most dangerous time for you and your children.

Obtaining a Protective Order
- If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted, you can request a protective order from the County Attorney's Office.
- Always keep a copy of your protective order with you.
- Call the police if your partner violates the protective order.
- Inform family members, friends, and neighbors that you have a protective order in effect.
- Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond immediately.

If you stay in your own residence
- Lock your windows and change the locks on your doors.
- Teach your children a safety plan for when you are not with them.
- Confirm with your school and daycare about who has permission to pick up your children
- Never call the abuser from your home. They will know where you live and that you are at home currently. Never tell anyone that might tell the abuser where you are living.
- Request an unlisted number from the telephone company.

At work or in public
- Decide who at work you will trust to inform of your situation. Consider the office building security if possible. Provide this person with a picture of your batterer.
- If possible, have someone at work screen your telephone calls.
- Have someone escort you to and from your car or bus.
- Use several different routes when coming and going from your home. It reduces the chance of someone learning your routine.

The following suggestions are for items that you might want to take with you if it is safe to do so.

Remember - All items can be replaced, but you cannot.

- Driver's license
- Birth certificate
- Children's birth certificates
- Social Security cards

- Money
- Credit cards in your name. Remember that credit cards can be traced.
- Checking or savings account books

Legal papers
- Protective Order
- Marriage license
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Car registration and insurance
- Health and life insurance papers
- Medical records for you and your children
- School records
- Work permits, green cards, visa
- Passport
- Divorce or custody papers

- Medications
- House and car keys
- Valuable jewelry
- Address book
- Pictures and sentimental items
- Change of clothes for you and your children

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