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CRISIS NUMBERS
 
Metro Phoenix 602.244.0089 602.889.1610 (TDD)
 
Out of Town 888.886.8793 888.886.8794 (TDD)

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CRISIS NUMBERS

Metro Phoenix

602.244.0089

602.889.1610 (TDD)

Out of Town

888.886.8793

888.886.8794 (TDD)

Protect Yourself & Your Children
You cannot stop your partner’s abuse, but you can find help and support for yourself and your children. Having a safety plan will help you be prepared for situations you may encounter in an abusive relationship.
 
Sojourner Center advocates are here to help work with you on a plan for your specific situation and help brainstorm your options. ALWAYS REMEMBER: IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

Plan for Various Situations Where Violence Can Occur

Domestic violence, in any situation, is scary and can place you and your children in immediate danger. By planning ahead and being prepared for different scenarios whether they occur at home, in public or at work, you can take an empowering step toward protecting yourself from an abusive partner.

At Home

  • Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers
  • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times
  • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows
  • Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children
  • Think about where you would go if you need to escape
  • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on
  • Pack a bag with important things you’d need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust. Include cash, car keys and important information such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, social security cards, medical records & medicines, immigration papers
  • Get an unlisted phone number
  • Block caller ID
  • Use an answering machine; screen calls
  • If an abuser has access to your smartphone, get a new one or see a service provider about wiping all of the data on the phone to prevent undetectable spyware programs from reporting your phone use and location to the abuser

If You Are at Home and Are Being Threatened or Attacked

  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives, there)
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you
  • Get to a room with a door or window to escape
  • Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can
  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help; get the dispatcher’s name
  • Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help
  • If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name and badge number
  • Get medical help if you are hurt
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries
  • Call a domestic violence program or shelter; ask them to help you make a safety plan
  • Centralized Screening Number: (480) 890-3039

In Public

  • Change your regular travel habits
  • Try to get rides with different people
  • Shop and bank in a different place
  • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank
  • Keep your protective order and emergency numbers with you at all times
  • Keep a cell phone and program it to 911 (or other emergency number)

At Work

  • Keep a copy of your protective order at work
  • Give a picture and description of the abuser to security and friends at work
  • Tell your supervisors—see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don’t go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard or buddy to walk you to your car or to the bus
  • If the abuser calls you at work, save voicemail and save e-mail
  • Your employer may be able to help you find community resources

Protect Your Children

Parents, by nature, are protective of their children. Children in a household with violence are at risk of witnessing and and becoming a victim of the abuse. Many of the ways to help protect your children from a violent partner involve going against some of your natural instincts by teaching them how to remove themselves from the situation so that they can get to safety and find help.

  • Teach them to flee to safety rather than getting in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help
  • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address and phone number to the police
  • Teach them who to call for help
  • Teach them about safe and unsafe places to hide in the home
  • Give the principal at school or the childcare center a copy of your protective order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo and description of the abuser
  • Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser
  • Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE
  • Create a code word or phrase with your children that can used in situations alerting them to get to safety or to follow your safety plan. This word or phrase can be used over the phone to alert the parent or child of a safety risk.

Be Safe at the Courthouse

It’s possible that your abuser may be present at the courthouse for the criminal proceedings. The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence provides the following advice to help protect you in this situation:

  • Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you don’t have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don’t have to talk to the abuser’s family or friends if they are there
  • Bring a friend or relative with you to wait until your case is heard
  • Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the abuser and ask him/her to look out for you
  • Make sure you have your protective order before you leave
  • Ask the judge or the sheriff to keep the abuser there for a while when court is over; leave quickly
  • If you think the abuser is following you when you leave, call the police immediately

“The teachers at Sojourner Center’s childcare understood and actually cared about my son. They understood that his behavior wasn’t because he was a bad kid or because I was bad mom.”