Make a Safety Plan
If you are living in a violent relationship, you probably know that there can be a cycle to the violence. In some relationships, things may be calm for a while and then the tension and anger build up. Family members may feel they are “walking on egg shells”. An argument may start. Your partner may “explode” and become threatening or violent. This can be a very dangerous time and it is important to plan what you will do to keep yourself and your children safe. Victim Services and Family Violence Prevention Services can help you develop a plan tailored to your situation.
Keep an emergency escape kit
In case you have to leave quickly, it is a good idea to make copies of original documents over time. If you can safely do it, pack an emergency suitcase with necessities such as glasses, medications and treasured possessions.
Pack and keep an emergency escape kit in a safe place that you can access at any time. The kit may be kept with a family member or friend, your lawyer or in a safety deposit box. This kit should include important personal items and papers for you and your children including:
- an extra set of keys and cash;
- court documents, legal documents and other court ruling(s);
- driver's licence and vehicle registration;
- health cards, medical and vaccination records;
- birth certificates, passports, work papers and immigration papers;
- Indian status cards;
- deed/mortgage/lease papers;
- car, life and home insurance papers
- cheque book, bank cards, credit cards, bank records, bond certificates, etc;
- social assistance records;
- social insurance cards;
- marriage certificate or divorce/separation papers;
- photo of your abuser and any proof of abuse including photos, threatening notes, recorded telephone messages or your journal.
- names/badge numbers of police officers you have dealt with in the past;
- contact information for friends, family, lawyer, employer, animal shelter, and minister/priest/spiritual leader.
Call 911 in case of emergency.
You could also ask neighbours or friends to call the police if they hear or see anything suspicious.
Determine your safe place
Pre-plan a safe place to go with friends or family so you can leave in an emergency. Your safe place should be somewhere the abuser won't find you and where you will be protected.
Circles of Safety and Support
A circle is a collaborative safety planning process for women at high risk of family violence. Staff of Victim Services or PEI Family Violence Prevention Outreach Services can help you determine if a circle may be of benefit. To learn more, visit www.justiceoptions.ca/safetycircles