What should I consider first

Are you in a safe place?

If you are a victim of violence, the first thing to consider is your own and your children's safety. Even if the abuser is in custody, he or she may be released on bond or in 48 hours. You may need to stay with a family member or friend. If that's not possible, or if it puts your loved ones in danger, please contact us. We may be able to find a shelter for you in another county. We can also refer you to organizations for counseling or legal assistance.

Do you have a safety plan?

  1. Take steps to increase your financial independence. Try to establish your own checking account or credit in your own name if you can do it safely. If possible, try to put aside some emergency cash where it won't be found.
  2. Maintain the closest contact possible with friends, neighbors and family. Establish a code for them to respond if you are in trouble.
  3. Keep copies of all important records with a friend or family member. Birth certificates, social security cards or work permits, immunization records, insurance policies, car titles, bank account records, blank checks, mortgage or rental information, and health insurance cards.
  4. Keep a small bag packed or leave one with someone that your partner won't know about. Pack some essential clothing items for you and your children.
  5. Keep a set of car keys hidden, preferably outside somewhere close to the car. Also keep a spare house key so you can return and get belongings if it becomes necessary.
  6. Plan what to do before the next violent incident occurs. Leave the home or room immediately if your partner becomes violent. Have an escape route planned.
  7. Have a safe place in mind and arrange with a trusted person to help get you there. If you are in immediate danger call 911, or go directly to the hospital if injured.
  8. If you work outside the home, give your employer basic information and instructions not to give your partner any information or to call the police if they come to your place of work.

Do you understand that you are not responsible for the violence?

Violence is a choice. The person using violence is the person who chose it. That person is responsible for the choice. No one deserves to be abused. You do not deserve to be hurt even if you argue, complain, or refuse to do something your partner wants you to do. It is not your fault even if you made a mistake. Nothing justifies abuse.