Safety Planning and Support
This basic safety plan is only the first step in planning for the safety of you and your children.
You are encouraged to contact a Counsellor on our Support Lines (Nova House 905-356-5800 or Serenity Place 905-788-0113. Collect calls are accepted) who will assist you in completing a more personal and detailed safety plan.
Provincial French Crisis Line – Fem’aide 1-888-336-2433
Abuse can take many different forms. If any of the following apply to you, there are options to keep you safe. A safety plan may be one of them.
Does your partner:
- Insult you, call you names or threaten you? Make you feel stupid, crazy or worthless?
- Control where you go, what you wear, or who you hang out with?
- Accuse you of cheating, constantly jealous?
- Pressure you, or force you to have sex?
- Control all the money, or withhold money for food, diapers, rent or other basic needs?
- Forbid you from seeing your family or your friends?
- Hurt your pets or break your belongings?
- Threaten to have you deported?
- Punch holes in the walls?
- Push you, shove you, hit you?
- Threaten to commit suicide if you ever leave?
- Do you feel you are “walking on eggshells”, living in fear of the next violent outburst?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are being abused. There are options to keep you safe. For further assistance call our Support Lines, listed above.
During a Violent Incident
Women cannot always avoid violent incidents. However, in order to increase your safety, here are some things you can do:
- Remind yourself that you have an Emergency Escape Plan, and go over it in your mind
- Start to position yourself to get out quickly or near a phone so you can call 911, if necessary
- Do not warn your partner that you are about to call the police
- Sound your car alarm using your remote keyless entry device
- Try to move to a space where the risk is the lowest (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons, or in rooms without access to an outside door)
- Use your judgment and intuition – do whatever will keep you safe. Use techniques that you have used in the past to keep yourself safe
- When, or after, you have been assaulted, call the police at 911 if you can. Tell them you have been assaulted by your husband/partner
An Emergency Escape Plan
When you leave, take the children if you can. If you try to get them later, the police cannot help you remove them from their other parent unless you have a valid court order.
The Emergency Escape Plan focuses on the things you can do in advance to be better prepared in case you have to leave an abusive situation very quickly.
- Try to arrange to speak with a woman abuse expert to assist you
- Open a bank account in your own name and arrange that no bank statements or other calls be made to you. Arrange that mail be sent to a friend or family member
- Save and set aside as much money as you can
- Plan your transportation and any associated costs of transportation, (i.e. walk, bus, cab. * Note, shelters will send a cab and cover the costs of your taxi trip to the shelter*)
- Plan your emergency exits
- Plan and practice the steps you will take if you have to leave quickly, and learn them well
- Start a new routine (e.g. going for a walk at 10 am) which may allow you to flee without suspicion
- Hide extra clothing, house keys, car keys, money, etc. at a trusted friend’s house