Preparing to Leave your Abuser

The most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence is when they are leaving their abusers or have just left their abusers.  This is why it is extremely important that you plan for your safety when preparing to leave your abuser. Here are some important points to remember:

q Keep emergency numbers (911, a shelter, hotline number, number of a friend or family member you trust) on you at all times and a cell phone, calling card, or change, if possible.  If you do not know who to call, call 911.

q Determine where you will go (a friend’s or family member’s, a shelter) and arrange this ahead of time, if possible.

q Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra clothes and medications with someone you trust or in a safe place so you can leave quickly.

q Open a savings and checking account and/credit card in your own name if you do not have them already.

q Get your own post office box. Then you will be able to receive checks and letters privately.  This will also allow you to receive mail from the court without the knowledge of your abuser if you choose to pursue a protective order or criminal complaint.

q Determine who may be able to lend you money, if necessary.

Safety in the Home Safety at Work and in Public Creating a Safety Plan
Safety during a Violent Episode Safety Online and with your Cell Phone Safety Planning for Teens and College Students

Emergency Numbers to Keep with you:


Center for Women and Families Domestic Violence Crisis Line

National Domestic Violence Hotline (All languages)

Adult Protective Services

Child Protective Services

National Teen Dating Violence Hotline

Numbers of trusted friends and family members who can help you.