Women, Safeguard What Matters Most: You And Your Children

Different ideas of how you can help safeguard you and your children.


Open a savings account and/or credit card in your name to establish or increase your independence. Have bank statements sent to a safe address. Think of ways you can increase your independence.

Get your own post office box. You can privately receive letters and checks to begin your independence.

Maintain the shelter hotline number with you. Keep a calling card on you.

Determine who would be able to let you stay with them, give you money, or someone you trust that would keep these documents and things for you.

Medical Insurance Cards and Medical Records

Medications and Prescriptions

DHS Identification/Bridge Card

Birth Certificates

Photographs Your Injuries


Credit Card

Lease, Rental Agreement or Mortgage Papers

Car Registration/Insurance

Health and Life Insurance Papers

School Records

House Keys and Car Keys

Mobile Phone/Phone Calling Card


Emergency Shelter Numbers

Any Other Papers you think you may want

Other items to consider:

When it is safe for you to do so, you may wish to consider:

Try to escape or get help before any violence happens.

When in danger, if you can, move to a room where you have access to an

Avoid the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or any place where there could be weapons.

If there are weapons in the home, try to remove them or lock them up.

Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors,windows, elevators, or stairways to use.

Have a bag packed and keep it at a relative's or friend's home so you can leave quickly.

Set a routine of walking the dog, getting a paper, or taking out the garbage so that it is normal for you to leave for a brief time period.

Teach your children to call 911.

Create a code word with your child(ren), family members, friends, and neighbors to alert them to call 911 especially if they hear a disturbance in your dwelling.

Plan with children. Plan a safe place for them. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe and not to protect you.

Trust your own instincts and judgment. If the situation is quite dangerous,consider giving the assailant. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.

Make extra house and car keys and hide them for emergencies.

Document events in a diary and keep it in a secure place.

SAFETY WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE If you choose to leave your situation, you'll want to take certain items with you. Keep in mind, your safety is top priority. If in order to be secure you need to leave without these items, do. Some people today give an extra copy of papers and an additional set of clothing to a friend just in case they must leave. SAFETY WHILE LIVING WITH AN ABUSIVE PARTNER

There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and online.

If you are in danger, please try to use a computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.

It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center, at a trusted friend's home, or an online Café.

If you believe your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusers are often controlling and want to know your every movement. You don't need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone's computer activities-- there are many ways to monitor and anyone can do it.

Computers can offer a good deal of information about what you look at on the world wide web, the emails you send, along with other activities. It's not possible to delete or clear all computer"footprints".

If you believe you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or"safer" Internet surfing. Example: If you're planning to flee to California, do not look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc. for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.

Only you can decide if it would be best for you to remain or leave your domestic violence situation. We invite you to consider your safety first and foremost when choosing whether to remain in your home or seek shelter elsewhere. Although you can not control the violence of your partner, you have a choice about planning for safety. You can decide when and if you'll tell others that you have been abused or that you are still at risk. Friends, family, and co-workers will help protect you if they understand what's going on and what they can do to help. A good tip to resolve domestic disputes is to have a great home security systems in place. Also consider other safety topics such as:


Children's birth certificates

Your birth certificate

Social Security cards

School and vaccination records


Checkbook, ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) card

Charge cards

Keys & Spare Keys -- house/car/office

Driver's license and registration


DHS Bridge Card / Paperwork

Work permits

Green card


Divorce papers

Medical records -- for many family members

Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book

Bank books

Insurance documents

Address publication



Children's favorite toys and/or blankets

Items of special sentimental value

Important telephone numbers