|Even if the abuse has not been previously been violent, it is important that you plan to protect yourself in the event that it does become violent. Here is a checklist of important things to keep in mind when planning to protect yourself in case of a violent episode:
q Inform one or more neighbors you can trust of the situation and tell them to call the police if they hear a violent disturbance coming from your home.
q Practice how to get out of your house safely. Determine which doors, windows, stairwells, etc. would be best and where an extra set of keys is hidden.
q Choose a code word to use with your children, family, friends, or neighbors to let them know when to call the police for you. Teach your children how to call 911.
q If an argument is unavoidable, try to have it in a room where you have access to an exit. Try to avoid rooms where your abuser would have access to weapons or dangerous objects.
q Plan where you will go if you have to leave your home in a hurry, even if you don’t think you will to.
q If you have access to a car, keep a set of car keys with you at all times. You may want to keep an extra set hidden somewhere in the vehicle in case you need to leave quickly in an emergency.
q Go over safety plans with your children as often as possible.