Safety planning: Know your rights and protect yourself
Domestic violence is physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of a partner or family member. It is a crime, and you have rights. Know how to protect yourself and your family by having a safety plan.
Take these steps:
- If you can't avoid an argument, have it in a place with an exit.
- Leave home if you are in immediate danger.
- If you are hurt, go to the hospital.
- Call the police to help you leave and arrest your abuser. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.
- Call a domestic violence shelter if you need someplace safe to go.
- Call Legal Aid for a protection order or apply online.
- Tell your child's school who has permission to pick them up.
- Change your phone number.
- Change/Add locks to your doors and windows.
- Avoid places where your abuser goes.
When you're ready to leave, you should take the following:
- ID, birth certificate, social security card
- Marriage certificate
- Children's birth certificates and social security cards
- Driver's license, car title, and registration
- Money, checkbook, credit cards, ATM card, debt card
- Cell phone, telephone calling card
- Protection order
- Rental lease or house deed
- Health insurance or medical card
- Insurance papers
- House and car keys
- Medications and prescriptions
- Address book
- Pictures of abuser and sentimental photos
- Work permit
- Green card and immigration papers
- Divorce and custody papers