AWAIC advocates are available 24 hours a day to help you make plans for your safety at (907) 272-0100. The most dangerous time in a relationship is when the victim is making plans to leave or has left. Each situation is different and safety plans are individualized but may include some of the following elements:
Safety while you are in the relationship:
- Memorize important numbers of friends and relatives who can help you in an emergency. If your children are old enough, teach them important numbers, as well as how to dial 911.
- Keep all information in a safe place, where your partner can’t find it, but where you can get to it and read it when needed.
- If you have a cell phone, keep it charged.
- If possible, open your own bank account or try to keep money with a trusted friend or family member.
- Stay in touch with your friends. Get to know your neighbors. Resist the temptation to isolate yourself from other people, even if you feel like you just want to be alone.
- Rehearse your escape plan.
- At a safe location that you can access later, leave a set of car keys, extra money, necessary medications, a change of clothes and copies of the following documents:
- You and your children’s birth certificates
- Your children’s school and medical records
- Your bank records
- Benefits information
- Passports or green cards
- Your social security card
- Lease agreements/mortgage payment books
- Important addresses and telephone numbers
- Insurance cards/papers
- Any other important documents
Safety After You Have Left the Relationship:
- Change the locks if you are still in the home and your former partner is the one who has left.
- Install as many security features as possible in your home. These might include metal doors and gates, security alarm systems, smoke detectors and outside lights.
- Inform neighbors that your former partner is not welcome on the premises. Ask them to call the police if they see the person around the property.
- Make sure the people who care for your children are very clear about who does/does not have permission to pick up your children.
- Consider obtaining a protective order. Keep it with you at all times.
- Let your co-workers know about the situation, especially if your former partner is likely to come to your work place to bother you.
- Avoid the stores, banks and businesses you used when you were still in the relationship.
- Get counseling. Attend workshops. Join support groups. Do whatever it takes to form a supportive network that will be there when you need it.
If you call the police for help:
- Try to stay calm. This may be difficult and whatever reaction you have is normal.
- Describe the incident in detail.
- Show the police any injuries, bruises or damaged property.
- Inform the officers of any witnesses.
- Tell the officers about other violent incidents.
- Show the officers any court documents you have, such as a No-Contact Order, Protection Order or a Stalking/Sexual Assault Protection Order.
- Ask the officers for community resources such as shelters, hotlines, counseling and advocacy. Ask them to transport you to AWAIC for safe shelter if you need it.
- Ask the officers for the case number of the report and a phone number if you want to follow up on the case.
You can call AWAIC’s crisis line, 907-272-0100, 24 hours a day to speak with a trained advocate.