Whether you choose to stay in or leave an abusive relationship, you need to stay safe by making a plan. You may decide you are not yet ready to leave an abusive relationship. You will know what is safest for you and your children, so trust your instincts.
Consider the following points for the safety of you and your children
- Find out the emergency and important phone numbers you may need -police, Women’s Refuge, doctor, lawyer, school, friends, and your whānau/family. Keep these with you.
- Photocopy important personal documents such as birth certificates, passports, bank or insurance details, and anything else you think is important, and keep them with you.
- If appropriate, teach your children how to phone 111 and what to say.
- Get a cell-phone and keep it with you.Work and Income may be able to help you get one. You can phone the police on 111 in an emergency from any landline or cell-phone, even if it doesn’t have any credit on it.
- You could apply for aProtection Order if you think you could do so safely. You can still live with or go out with a person that you have a Protection Order against. A Protection Order can be for yourself, your children, and other family or friends who are affected by the abuser’s behaviour.
- Make a plan for yourself and the children if violence happens at home, and if you’re out. Think about the safest place to run to – somewhere away from weapons, and where you can get outside. Practice this escape plan.
- If it’s safe, tell your friends and neighbours. Let them know that you have fears for your safety. Ask them to watch out, and set up a code signal or word with them so that they know when you’re in danger, and can phone the police. Your children can use the code too, if it’s appropriate.
- Get your own sets of keys to the house and car.
- Open your own bank account, and try to save some money. If you have no money, talk to Women’s Refuge about getting a benefit.
- Use the support of Women’s Refuge orother agencies, and the support of friends and family.