Tips on Safety Planning and Steps to follow if in crisis:
Always remember if you are in immediate danger call 911- the police. If you are able to dial the phone but can’t communicate, remember to stay on the line – do not hang up. Give the following information clearly if you are able:
- your name;
- the location you are at;
- that you are being attacked;
- that you are afraid you are going to be hurt or you are afraid for your life; and
- where your attacker is and whether he has a weapon or access to weapons.
If you have time to plan ahead, the following steps can help you get out of an abusive situation.
Make a decision – You have to be willing to make a change in your life to get out of an abusive situation, knowing that you are not alone.
Talk to someone about it – It is very helpful to talk about your situation with someone that you trust – a friend or relative, a spiritual leader, a doctor, or a counsellor.
Protect Yourself – If you decide to stay, you should have an emergency and personal safety plan.
Know what to do in an Emergency – Be prepared to act quickly. Make an emergency plan. Tell someone you trust that you may need to activate your emergency plan. This person can support you with the following actions:
- Plan ahead of time where you can go to be safe, by making just one phone call.
- Work out a code word so that the person you call will know that this is you, if you are in crisis.
- Contact a shelter ahead of time and see if they can accommodate your disability needs.
- Get legal advice – Call a community legal clinic even before there is an emergency.
- Pre-arrange accessible transportation.
- Make photocopies of all your identification and important documents and keep them in a safe place where you can find them quickly.
- Pack an emergency bag, including all these important documents (i.e. Health Cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, immigration/citizenship papers, passports, copies of your lease, mortgage, your address/phone book, etc.)
Use the Internet Safely
The Internet is a really useful way to get important information, but it can also leave a record of the websites and information that you have been looking for. If your abuser is very knowledgeable about computers, he may be able to see which websites you have looked at. There are things that you can do to delete traces of what websites you have been visiting. But it may just not be safe to use a computer at home. You might want to use the computer at the public library, a school, an internet cafe, or your workplace. Please visit http://ywcasudbury.ca/resources/343-2/ for more information about internet and email safety.