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A Safety Plan focuses on the things you can do in advance to be better prepared in case you have to leave an abusive situation. If you are in immediate danger call 911 and leave immediately.
Contact The Women’s Centre Grey Bruce, Crisis Line @
519-371-1600 or Toll Free @ 1-800-265-3722. Let the staff know that you intend to leave an abusive situation and ask for support in safety planning.
Where to Start
Request a police escort
or ask a friend,
neighbour or family member to accompany you when you leave.
When speaking with
the police, you can request a police officer that specializes
in abuse cases.
DO NOT tell your partner you are leaving.
Consult a lawyer. The Women's Centre Grey Bruce can provide a list of legal resources.
Things you can do to prepare
Keep any evidence
of physical abuse,
such as photos.
Keep a journal of all violent incidents, noting dates, events, threats and any witnesses.
Remember to clear your phone of the last number you called to avoid the abuser utilizing redial.
Have a back-up plan if your partner finds out where you're going.
If you are injured, go to a doctor, emergency room or a clinic and report what happened to you. Ask medical officials to document your visit.
Change address with Canada Post – ensure notice does NOT to come to your present address.
Open a bank account in your own name and arrange that no bank statements or calls be made to you. Or, arrange that mail be sent to a friend or family member.
Plan your emergency exits. Think about safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and where there are at least two ways to escape.
Plan and rehearse
the steps you will take if you have to leave quickly.
Learn them well.
Never lock yourself in the bathroom. Keep yourself between your partner and your emergency escape if you feel you may need to get out safely.
If the situation is very dangerous, use your own instinct and judgement to keep yourself safe. Call the police as soon as it is safe to do so.
Decide where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don’t think it will come to that.
Store digital versions or photocopies of the following documents in a safe place, away from the originals. Hide the originals, if you can. Carry what you can, without suspicion, in your purse.
Passports, birth certificates, Social Insurance Cards, and immigration papers, for all family members
Lease/rent agreement, house deed, mortgage payment records, and house insurance
Divorce papers, custody documentation, court orders, restraining orders, marriage certificate
1-3 years of your partner’s T4s
Medications, prescriptions, and medical records, for all family members
Pictures of your spouse/partner
Set aside, in a place you can get to quickly, $10 to $20 for cab fare
Banking items like credit cards, bank cards, cheque book, and bank statements
Try to keep all the cards you normally use in your wallet
Driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and insurance
Health cards, school records, and vaccination records
Keep the following items handy, but only grab them if it's safe to do so:
Emergency suitcase with immediate needs.
Items of special sentimental value
A list of other items you would like to take if you get a chance to return to your home
When you leave, take your children if you can. The police cannot help you remove them at a later date, unless you have a valid court order signed and directed by a judge.
In some circumstances, it may be possible for police to escort you to your home at a later date, to remove additional personal belongings. At that time, take the items listed above as well as anything else that is important to you or your children.
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