No one deserves to be abused. If at any time you feel threatened or are being abused, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Below are a few safety planning guidelines to help with your situation. A Family Safety Center navigator can confidentially guide you through additional steps for preparing to safely leave a violent relationship. Call the center at 901-222-4400 to set up a private appointment.
Preparing for a violent incident:
- When with the abuser, try to keep away from rooms containing dangerous objects, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
- Identify rooms with an exit. Know which doors, windows, elevators or stairwells to use.
- Keep a packed bag with a friend, relative or neighbor. Be sure to include copies of important documents.
- Tell one or more neighbors about the violence, and ask them to call the police if they notice/hear a disturbance.
- Have a plan. Know where you will go if you decide to leave your home.
Safety with a protective order:
- Always keep a copy of your protective order with you, including in your car, at work, at home and with close relatives.
- Inform family members, friends and neighbors that you have a protective order in effect.
- Call the police at 9-1-1 if your abuser violates the protective order.
- Always have a backup plan you can use while waiting on the police to respond.
- Always ask for police report numbers after calling the police.
Safety in your day-to-day life:
- Keep windows and doors locked.
- Develop a safety plan with your child(ren).
- Inform your child(ren)’s school, day care or anyone who cares for your child(ren) which individuals have permission to pick up your child(ren).
- Inform your neighbors if your abuser no longer lives with you, and ask them to call the police should they see the abuser.
- Request to have your telephone number unlisted/unpublished.
- Never call the abuser from your home or tell them where you live.
Safety on the job and in public:
- Have someone with you at all times.
- Use a variety of routes to and from home each day.
- At work, inform management, a co-worker and security of your situation, and if possible, provide them with a picture of your abuser.
- If possible, make arrangements to have calls screened.
Checklist – Below are a few of the items you should have with you when you leave:
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Child(ren)’s birth certificate
- Social Security cards
- Military ID cards
- Protective order
- House and car keys
- Divorce and custody papers
- Address book
- Lease/rental agreement
- Change of clothes for you and child(ren)
A Family Safety Center navigator can provide you with a complete checklist, as well as specific instructions for preparing to safely leave a violent relationship.