Domestic abuse crisis planning

Admitting to yourself and others that you are experience domestic violence/abuse may seem very difficult but it is an important step towards getting protection for yourself and your children.

Remember:

• It is not your fault
• You are not alone
• You have a right to live free from fear

Sometimes you may have to leave in a hurry. It might be when, for you, the relationship is over.  It might be to escape an assault, or to take a break for safety and sanity.  It can give you time to plan and think. Making a ‘crisis plan’ is a way of feeling more in control and giving you more confidence.

Below is a suggested plan of action that you can add to or change to suit you:

• Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone. (neighbour, friend, relative, other contacts?)
• Make and always carry with you a list of numbers for an emergency.  Include friends, family, local police, agencies to help such as The First Step.
• Try to save money for bus, train, taxi fares
• Have an extra set of keys for the house, car
• Keep the keys, money and a set of clothes for you and the children packed ready in a bag that you can quickly get and take
• Explain to your children who are old enough to understand that you might have to leave in a hurry and will take them with you, or you will arrange for them to join you.  Discuss the escape drill.

Time to plan

You are not the only one:

Research shows that as many as one in four women are in an abusive relationship. It happens to women of all ages, all classes, all races, all religions, all levels of intelligence, and, to women with or without children.  It also happens to men.

If you have more time to plan leaving, do as much of the following as you can:

• Leave when the abuser is not around
• Take all of your children with you
• Take your legal and financial papers, marriage and birth certificates, court orders, national health cards, passports, driving licence, child credit books, address book, bank books, cheque books, credit cards, etc
• Take any of your personal possessions which have sentimental value, photographs or jewellery for example
• Take favourite toys for the children
• Take clothing for at least several days
• Take any medicines you or your children might need
• If you do leave and later discover you have forgotten something you can always arrange for the protection of a police escort to return home and collect it