Think Ahead & Plan
Do everything you can to avoid serious injury.
Leave if you can:
- Know the easiest escape routes; doors, windows etc. What’s in the way? What could stop you from a a speedy exit?
- Who to call. Probably the Police but could also be a neighbour, relative or friend. It may be helpful to have a code word to use with your children and or other family members.
- Decide where to go.
- You may need to leave the house in a hurry. If you have children, develop a safety plan for them such as working out where they can go if you are unable to get away. This could be a neighbour or someone else who lives close by.
- You may want a spare set of clothes for you and your children, medications, important papers, keys and some money with someone you can trust.
- Always keep your purse, cash cards, keys, essential medication and important papers together in a place where you or someone else can get quickly.
- Keep extra keys to your house and car in a safe place, in case your (ex) partner takes the first set.
- If possible save some money for a taxi, bus or train for emergency transportation to a safe place.
- Practice travelling to the location that you have chosen as a safe place.
- Make a list of emergency phone numbers.
If you can’t leave the house, try to move to a place of low risk. Try to keep out of the bathroom, kitchen, garage, away from weapons, upstairs or rooms without access to the outside.
Talk to your children about getting help. Think of a code word you could say to your children or friends so they can call for help such as.
1. Run to a neighbour and ask them to call the police
2. Call 000. Teach them the words to use to get help “This is Matthew at 9 this Street and suburb. Mum’s getting hurt. She needs help now.”
3. Perhaps have a a safe place outside the house to hide.
Use judgement and intuition. If the situation is very serious you may have to do what the attacker wants until things calm down. Be alert for your chance to escape and get help.
Try to leave quietly. Don’t give your attacker clues about the direction you’ve taken or where you’ve gone to. Lock doors behind you if you can, it will slow down any attempt to follow you.
- Arrange transport in advance if possible. Know where you will go.
- Tell only one or two trusted friends or a refuge worker about your plans. Go through the details together.
- Start a savings account. A small amount of money saved weekly can build up and be useful later.
- Gather documents. Start collecting papers and information you need. Make your own list:
- Birth certificates, marriage certificate, copies of Domestic Violence Orders, custody papers, passports, any identification papers, driver’s licence, insurance policies, work and income documents, bank account details and statements, cheque book, cash cards, immigration documentation, adoption papers, medical and legal records, etc.
- Ask your family doctor to carefully note any evidence of injuries on your patient records.