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Safety Planning

    Sometimes survivors of abuse return home. If you do plan to return home, we will respect that choice. A medical professional can help you develop an escape plan for you and your children before a dangerous situation occurs. We will discuss the following areas:
    • Are there warning signs you recognize before an assault takes place? Can you get out to get help before the assault?
    • Are there weapons in the house? Where? Can you remove them? Can you remove the ammunition?
    • Can you work with neighbors on a signal to call the police?
    • Have you memorized emergency numbers?
    • Do the children know how to call 911?
    • If there is not a phone, how can you get to one?
    • How will you get out of the house safely? Can you set up a routine where it is normal for you to leave for short periods?
    • If a fight is unavoidable, is there a room with an exit that you can get to? Try to stay away from rooms where weapons might be available.
    • Who can you enlist (friends, family, coworkers, religious leaders, neighbors, and professionals) in the safety plan?
    • Can you collect and hide money, and put important documents in one place where they can be easily grabbed? (see the checklist of items to take when leaving a violent situation)
    • Can you leave these items with a friend?
    • Do you have a safe place to go? Call a shelter if necessary. Keep telephone numbers to shelters and police in a location hidden from the abuser.
    • If you must leave the children at home, call the police as soon as you get to safety.

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Domestic Violence Checklist: What you need to take when you leave

____ Money, checkbook

____ Bank books

____ Identification: Driver's license, social security cards, passport, green card, public assistance ID, work permit, welfare identification, birth certificates (yours and your children's)

____ Lease, rental agreement, house deed

____ Medications

____ Divorce or paternity papers

____ Medical records of all family members

____ House and car keys

____ Insurance papers

____ Small objects you could sell (such as jewelry)

____ Address book

____ School records

____ Personal protection orders (PPOs)/legal records

____ Clothing

____ Pets

____ Children's small toys

____ Pictures

____ Other:

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