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Staying Safe – Survivor Toolkit

Survivor Toolkit

Staying Safe After You Leave Your Abuser

Recommendations for Protecting Yourself and Your Family While Establishing Independence

1. Utilize Restraining Orders

  • Keep a certified copy of your restraining order with you at all times.
  • Inform friends, neighbors and employers that you have a restraining order in effect.
  • Give copies of the restraining order to employers, neighbors, and schools, along with a picture of the offender.
  • Call law enforcement to enforce the order if necessary.

2. Adjust Your Routine

  • Change your work hours (if possible) and usual route to and from work.
  • Change the route taken to transport children to and from school.
  • Alert school authorities of the situation.
  • Consider changing your children’s schools.
  • Reschedule appointments that the offender is aware of.
  • Use different stores and frequent different social spots.

3. Protect Contact Info

  • Change your phone number and request your new number be unlisted. Be careful who you share the new number with, and screen unfamiliar numbers.
  • Protect your mail. If you don’t want a PO Box, check your mail every day, and shred mail with identifying information (bank statements, pre-approved credit cards or appointments)
  • Send outgoing mail from the post office instead of your home.

4. Protect Your Home

  • Change your locks, even if they have returned the key.
  • Check all window locks and ensure they are locked. (Even on the second floor of your home)
  • Install an alarm system and cameras if possible.
  • Keep the outside of your house well lit; install a motion sensitive lighting system.
  • Trim bushes, trees, and other shrubbery to eliminate blind spots.
  • Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors.

5. Establish Support Systems

  • Alert neighbors and request that they call the police if they feel you may be in danger.
  • Talk to trusted people about the violence.
  • Tell people you work with about the situation and have your calls screened by one receptionist if possible.
  • Tell people who take care of your children who can pick them up. Explain your situation to them and provide them with a copy of the restraining order, if you have one.

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