If you believe that your partner or your former partner might become violent, you can prepare yourself in advance by doing a number of things. Having a safety plan in a domestic violence situation will help you to take the necessary steps to ensure your safety. During a violent incident, you need to think and react quickly to ensure your safety and the safety of your children.
- At all times, keep your suitcase/ bag ready and easily accessible quickly. See “How to get ready to leave” .
- Talk about your situation with people that you trust completely. Agree upon a code, such as a specific word, that you can use to warn them that you are in danger so that they can immediately call the police. You can also choose a password with your children so they can protect themselves during a violent episode.
- Check each room in your home and think of how you could escape. If possible, avoid any room without an exit (like a bathroom, basement, or cellar) when you are with your partner. Also, avoid places where are firearms or where knives are stored.
- Locate the best places to escape from the ground floor, the second floor and the basement.
- Make sure that you have some clothes ready for you and your children so that you can grab them quickly. If your partner asks you what you are doing, have an answer ready (e.g., “I’m putting some things away” or “I’m getting the kids’ clothes ready for tomorrow morning.”).
- Always trust your judgement and your intuition. Before the situation becomes very dangerous, you should think of ways to calm your partner down or better yet, do not hesitate to call 911. Always remember that your priority is your safety and your children’s safety. If you are in danger, stay calm. Ask your children to stay in their room or to go to a neighbor’s house. Remember to use your password to indicate that you are in danger if a trusted person contacts you by phone or at the door.
At any moment, remember that you and your children can go to a shelter to get help quickly or to another safe location of your choice.
The West Island Women’s Shelter : 514-620-4845 ext: 221 SOS Conjugal violence: 1800 363-9010
- Regularly review and update your safety plan.