IN AN EMERGENCY

IN AN EMERGENCY

If you are at home & you are being threatened or attacked:

  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons such as knives there).
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you.
  • Get to a room with a door or window to escape.
  • Be smart if you decide to run out of the house! If you can’t get to a safe place (such as a neighbors or a good place to hide) until they quit looking for you, you may be better off to get behind a locked door and plead. If they have to chase you and catch you their adrenaline will be elevated even higher; this may reduce your chances of survival.
  • Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can.
  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help; get the dispatcher’s name
  • If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name & badge number.
  • Get medical help if you are hurt.
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries.BEFORE THERE IS AN EMERGENCY:
    • Think about your situation and plan for the worst.
    • Call us or any other shelter or domestic violence program for specific ideas on how to prevent the worst from happening. You do not have to leave your name. We can help you design a safety plan for your specific situation. There are things you can do that your abuser will never know but could mean life or death for you.
    • Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help.
    • Purchase a prepaid cell phone and keep it near you at all times or place it in a place that only you know about or will look at such as a tampon box in the back of the cupboard. If you sense trouble is coming put the phone in your pocket. This is just one example of the many things we can help you figure out that would be specific to your situation.
    • Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers.
    • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cell phone that you keep with you at all times.
    • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows.
    • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on.
    • Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children.
    • Get an unlisted phone number; block caller id.
    • Pack a bag with important things you’d need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust. Include cash, car keys & important information such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical records & medicines, immigration papers.
    HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SAFER:
    • Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help.
    • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address & phone number to the police.
    • Teach them who to call for help.
    • Tell them to stay out of the kitchen.
    • Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo of the abuser.
    • Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser.
    • Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE.
    HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF OUTSIDE THE HOME:
    • Change your regular travel habits.
    • Try to get rides with different people.
    • Shop and bank in a different place.
    • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank.
    • Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you at all times.
    • Keep a cell phone & program it to 911 (or other emergency number).
    HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SAFER AT WORK:
    • Keep a copy of your court order at work.
    • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work.
    • Tell your supervisors – see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you.
    • Don’t go to lunch alone.
    • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus.
    • Change the route you take to and from work.