Safety Planning

SAFETY PLANNING IS VERY IMPORTANT:

A Safety plan should be made with the help of a domestic violence counselor or advocate. An advocate may be reached 24 hours a day by calling 407-847-8562. In your personal safety plan, you might think about the following:

· Decide where you can go for help.

· Tell someone what is happening and have phone numbers of friends, family and a domestic violence shelter with you at all times

· Make a “getaway bag” in case you need to leave quickly. Your “getaway bag” should include things for you and your children that you must have or that would be hard to replace like:

Driver’s license or other ID Checkbook/Bankbook
Birth Certificates ATM Cards/Credit Cards
Social Security Cards School/Medical Records
Change of Clothes Emergency Money
Medications/Copies of Prescriptions Pictures or Keepsakes
Long Distance Calling Card Extra Keys
Address Book/Phone #’s Insurance Papers
Picture of Abuser and Your Children Copies of Bills
Passport, Green Cards, or Work Permits Car Registration
Divorce, Custody and/or Injuction Papers

Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous. These are things to think about if you plan to leave or have already left:

· Get a Post Office Box or make arrangements for mail/bills to be sent to a friend’s address. Have the phone, rent, utilities, etc. placed in someone’s else’s name.

· Get an Injunction for Protectionand keep it with you at all times. Keep records of letters, notes or answering machine messages and promptly report violations to law enforcement.

· Notify children’s school, daycare or babysitter of the situation and give them copies of any court orders related to custody. Have them report any unusual contact from the abuser.

· Do not, under any circumstances meet or contact the abuser alone. If you must meet the abuser, choose a safe public location and take another person with you. Have another person pick up and deliver children for visitation. Here in Osceola County there is a visitation center that is supervised and available should you wish to use it as a safe public place.

· Change your routine and the routes you travel to work and school. Do not go to places that you and the abuser went to together, or a place where he/she is known to spend time.

· If you work, have a trusted co-worker screen your callsand/or call police if there is a problem.

· Carry a Cell Phone for safety in the event you are followed. If you are unable to purchase a phone a (911 only) cell phone is available through the Sheriff’s Office. Call 407-348-2222 or 407-348-1190 for help.

· Teach your children emergency action:

· How to call 911

· How to escape the house during violence

· Safe places to go (neighbor or friend’s house)

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