Safety

There is no safe way to use a computer.
It is impossible to completely clear your browser history. If someone wants to, they can monitor your computer use. If that is a concern for you, it’s best to use a safe computer at the home of a friend or family member or a public computer at the library.

Make sure you have a Safety Plan in place.
Every situation is different. Trust your instincts. If something on this list seems like it could cause danger for you, don’t do it. Call our 24-hour crisis line 800-544-2022 anytime, any day. We can help you tailor a safety plan to your specific needs covering where to go, what to do and being aware of your surroundings in case of a violent incident.

1. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

2. Tell a trusted friend or family member. Abuse thrives in silence and isolation. Telling someone about your situation may be difficult, but taking positive action to end the abuse is easier with support.

3. Choose a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors so they will know when to call 911 for you.

4. Decide and plan where you will go if you need to flee quickly. If you are in fear for your physical safety, go to the home of a friend, relative, neighbor, or to a shelter for victims of intimate partner abuse.

5. Practice how to get out of your home safely.

6. Open a savings account in your own name. Ask a trusted friend or family member if you can use their address for mailings.

7. Leave money, copies of important documents, extra medicine, and clothing with someone you trust.

8. If you have children, discuss an age-appropriate safety plan for when you are not with them.

9. Decide if you will inform your employer and colleagues at work about your abuser. If possible, provide them with a photograph of this person.

10. Have someone escort you to your car or wait with you at the bus stop. Consider what you would do if something happened in public.

11. File for a protective order. Even though the protection it offers has limits, breaking any part of this order can mean jail time for the abuser. Serious consequences for the abuser can result in greater safety for you.

12. If you have a protective order, keep a copy of the document with you at all times. Make a copy for a trusted friend or family member to keep for you.

13. Seek counseling. Counseling can help you raise your sense of self-worth, empower you to make healthy choices about your life, and realize that you are not to blame for what happened.