Safety in an Abusive Relationship
Have a Code Word
Have a code word for your children, friends, family and neighbors to know they need to call 9-1-1. Teach young children how to dial 9-1-1.
Know Your Escape Route
Practice ways to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route.
Know Where You Can Go
Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you can go if you need to get out in a hurry. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking your pet or going to the store.
Make Your House Safer
Are there any weapons in the house? Think about ways that you could get them out of the house or out of easy reach.
Enhanced Safety During an Explosive Incident
Stay Near an Exit
Avoid going into a bathroom or bedroom that doesn’t have a way out. Avoid rooms where there are weapons (i.e. kitchen with knives)
Have a Phone Near By
Stay in a room where there is a phone or keep a cell phone with you. Call 9-1-1, a friend or neighbor if possible. Let someone know if there are weapons in the house.
Enhanced Safety When Leaving
Reach Out to Others
Who are people who can help you if you leave? Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets, HAVEN can help with this.
Have Money Ready and Copies of Important Documents
Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold your money and copies of important documents such as a driver’s license, marriage license, birth certificate, passport, titles, deeds and other property information, children’s school and immunization records, insurance information, social security numbers, and/or welfare identification.
Have a Plan Ready
Plan how you are going to leave and practice it. What are ways you can get out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store.
Plan for Your Children
How can you take your children with you safely? There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
Put Together a Bag
Put together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get (car, work, etc.)
Call your Local Crisis Center
In Southeastern NH, HAVEN is your local crisis center to explore safe options available to you and/or if shelter is available. Please call our 24-hour confidential hotline: 1-603-994-SAFE (7233). Please click here to find your local crisis agency.
Enhanced Safety After You Leave
Consider a Protective Order
Consider a protective order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
Change the locks on your doors. Consider putting in stronger doors, window bars, better outside lighting. Add smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a security system.
Get the Word Out
Tell friends and neighbors that your partner no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your partner near your home or children. Tell people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a Protective Order protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it. Tell someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls.
Change Your Routine
Go to different stores or businesses than you did when you were with your partner.
Contact HAVEN for emotional and confidential support. In addition, find out more about support groups.
Stalking Safety Suggestions
- Change the locks of your home and/or car
- Avoid walking alone and be aware of your surroundings
- Alternate your regular driving routes
- Be aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas
- Obtain a locking gas cap and always visually check the front and rear passenger areas as well as under the car before entering the vehicle
- In case you are being followed know the locations of both the police and fire stations. Find out if that department is open 24 hours a day.
- Keep an emergency bag packed with clothing, money, emergency telephone numbers, etc.
- Report all threats online and sent by mail to the local police
- Alert neighbors and your landlord about what is happening, and have a prearranged code or signal in case the stalker is near or at your home.
- Post a “No Trespassing” sign on the edge of your property where it is clearly visible.
- Be aware of places a stalker could hide, install outdoor lighting, and check to be sure existing lighting works.
- Be protective of your social security number, it is the key to all of your information. Only give it out if you are required to do so.
- If you move do not leave a “paper trail.” Don’t have anything forwarded (mail, newspapers, and magazines subscriptions, telephone number, etc.) Take all medical immunization records (especially for your children) with you.
- Contact the three credit bureaus: TRW, Equifax, and Trans Union. Let them know of your situation and ask them to flag your record.
- If you receive threatening calls report it to your phone company.
- Always carry a cell phone. If you are being followed call 9-1-1 and go to a busy place.