Emergency Information and Safety Planning
If you are seriously injured and need immediate medical attention, please call 911 immediately. The Women’s Shelter Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Advocates are available to help you create a safety plan for leaving that is specific to you, to listen, and to talk about admittance to the shelter.
Basic Safety Planning Tips
- If you sense the situation is becoming dangerous, move toward a room with two exits, such as a living room. Avoid the kitchen whenever possible, as there are lots of potential weapons in that room. Try to avoid the bathroom. It is easy to become trapped in there with no way of escape.
- Memorize important phone numbers of individuals who may be able to help you in a time of crisis.
- Leave a spare, packed bag at a friends house or other safe location so that if you have to leave in a hurry, or are unable to go home, you have some things you may need. Things to include in your emergency bag: Change of clothes, money, extra ID’s extra keys, any other important documents.
- Create a code word, that friends or family may know as a signal that you need help, if your abuser is listening to you talk with them.
- Teach your children how to get help. Have a special code word with them to signal them to get away. Teach them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner.
- If you have to leave quickly and cannot bring anything with you, it is okay. Things can be replaced, people cannot.
- Practice how to get out safely, practice with your children.
- Make a practice of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled.
- Do not wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
- Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at any time, day or night.
If you are planning to leave an abusive situation, it is a good idea to create a safety plan and memorize it. Leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time, in fact, women who leave abusive partners are 75 times more likely to be killed in the process of leaving or immediately following than any other time. There is a safer way to leave. By calling the hotline and utilizing safety planning techniques, chances for survival increase. If you call 911, law enforcement officials may wish to take pictures of physical injuries or damaged property. Remember that they are trained to help, and the tools they use may be beneficial later. If you have been hurt, it may be a good idea to go to the hospital or your doctor. Sometimes injuries are more severe than they appear to you. During and immediately following pregnancy, domestic violence is often more prevalent. Please remember that head injuries and strangulation can have fatal effects even days after the attack occurs.