What you can do to protect yourself, your children or others in your community:
1) Safety during an explosive incident
• If an argument seems unavoidable, move to a room with easy access to an exit – not a bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
• Identify which door, window, stairwell, or elevator offers the quickest way out of your home and practice your route.
• Find neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance.
• Devise a code word to use with your children, family and friends when you need the police.
• Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don’t think you will need to.
• Use your own best instincts and judgment. Think of how best to keep safe until help arrives. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving your abuser what he wants to calm him down. You have the right to keep yourself safe until you are out of danger.
2) Safety when preparing to leave
• Determine who will be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
• Have a bag packed and ready. Keep it hidden, but easy to get to – for instance, at the house of a trusted friend or relative.
• Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines and clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
• Get information about protective orders from your local police, victim assistance or court. Call any battered women’s hotline. They can help you with support, information and housing.
• Remember, leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time. Review your safety plan as often as necessary so you know the safest way to leave.
3) For teens, be aware and be safe.
• Always know whom you are with.
• Let your parents know where you are going and with whom.
• Never leave your drink unattended.
• On the Internet, never give out your real name or personal information; never agree to meet someone you have met on the Internet.
• Decide what your limits are about sex and communicate those clearly.
4) For your children, what they don’t know CAN hurt them!
Make sure your children have safety rules and know when and whom to ask for help. Ask your child’s teacher or click here to view more information on keeping kids safe from sexual abuse.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, get help. Call 911 or the Family Justice Center at (318) 998-6030 (during regular business hours) or 1-888-411-1333. For specialized medical care following an attack, visit St. Francis Medical Center ER at 309 Jackson Street, Monroe.
To download a Safety planning form, click here.