Domestic violence safety plan final

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISK You may be at a high risk of being harmed if: You are pregnant You have a disability or hearing impairment, especially if your abuser is your caregiver

Domestic Violence

You are leaving a violent/abusive relationship or have recently left (within past year) Your abusive (ex)partner has threatened/attempted suicide, has untreated mental health issues, and/or addiction issues Your (ex)partner has made physical threats against you, has physically harmed you, made threats against your life, or tried to kill you Your (ex)partner has no regard for the law and/or has assaulted you in public Recent court/legal proceedings have upset your (ex)partner (for example changes to custody or access not in favor of your (ex)partner The violence is escalating (getting worse) Your (ex)partner has access to weapons, has used weapons previously in a violent way and/or has threatened to hurt you with weapons Obsessive behaviour: stalking, unwanted contact, and/or threatening notes or messages from your (ex)partner You or others close to you or your (ex)partner believe he may be capable of killing you Your (ex)partner is very controlling and attempts to tell you who you can see, where you can go, and how much money you can spend

Haldimand & Norfolk Women's Services 24-hour toll-free Crisis Line


Safety Plan Haldimand & Norfolk Women's Services 24-hour toll-free Crisis Line


If you are in danger,


CALL 9-1-1


First Steps: Emergency Contacts & Taking a Safety Tour Creating a safety plan means making an action plan of things you can do to increase your level of personal safety. A safety plan helps you to think in advance about things you could do if you were in a situation where you felt unsafe, afraid, or were being hurt.

The best place for you to hide your safety plan and emergency escape kit would be: ______________________________________________________________ Think about all of the doors, windows, elevators, stairwells and fire escapes in your home and practice getting out safely with your children (similar to a practice fire drill) The rooms in your home that are the SAFEST (have an alternate exit and/or locks on the doors): ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ The rooms in your home that you should AVOID (basements, rooms with weapons like the kitchen, rooms with no locks or exits): ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Develop a code word with your children or your family and friends that you can use to let them know you are in danger: Your emergency code word will be: _____________________________ If you have to leave your home, where could you go?

TOLL-FREE 24-HOUR CRISIS LINE 1-800-265-8076

IF YOU ARE A TEEN IN A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP ... • Identify an adult you trust that you can confide in (teacher, counsellor, parent, friend’s parent) • Consider going to the police to obtain a restraining or no contact order against your (ex) partner • If you attend a secondary school in Haldimand or Norfolk, you can speak to a STAR (Stop Abuse In Relationships) Counsellor from Women’s Services by attending Student Services or calling (519) 426-8048 or 1-800-265-8076 • Women 16 and older can be admitted to the shelter at Women’s Services if they require safety • If you are under 16 and require safety, please contact the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-888-CAS-KIDS (227-5437) • If you are 16 or older and need a place to stay but are not in danger, call Union House (HN REACH) - 519-426-7604 • Make sure someone you trust always knows where you are and update them if your plans change • Download an app to help keep you safe – "Circle of 6" and the "YMCA Safety Siren" are examples

The closest shelter to your home is located at: ___________________________ The police station closest to your home is located at: ______________________ A safe neighbour or public place near your home you can go to is: ___________

NOTES: _________________________________________________________________

A safe friend's / family member's place you can go to is: ___________________


Memorize the Haldimand & Norfolk Women's Services toll-free crisis line number, so that you always get connected with the help you need 24 HOURS A DAY – 1-800-265-8076

_________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

• Remember, if you call from home, dial another number after hanging up so no one can trace your last call by pressing redial •




General Tips for Emotional Self-Care

TOLL-FREE 24-HOUR CRISIS LINE 1-800-265-8076

Creating an Emergency Escape Plan and Kit

• Take time out to do things that make YOU happy

• Talk with your children about where they can go if there is an emergency

• Spend time with people who make you feel good, and avoid spending time with people who make you feel bad about yourself

• Tell a neighbour you would like them to call the police if they hear a fight in your home

• Take care of your nutritional needs

• Ask a neighbour if they can look after your children in an emergency

• Get enough sleep

• Ask a friend, family member, or neighbour to store your Emergency Escape Kit items and extra clothing at their house for safe-keeping if you cannot safely keep the kit at home

• Keep a personal journal to write about your feelings, especially when you are feeling vulnerable. Write something positive about yourself in your journal every day • Take time to prepare yourself before going into stressful situations • Determine your boundaries and stand up for yourself (safely) when they are violated. Be assertive about your feelings towards others • Avoid negative self talk such as “ I am not good enough” or “I am useless”, etc. • Allow yourself to be angry. Learn healthy and constructive ways to express your anger • Set reachable goals for yourself and follow through • Remove yourself from unsafe and/or negative situations or situations that could become unsafe • Say ‘No’ when you don’t want to do something-don’t take too much on! • Surround yourself with positive, supportive influences and people • Give yourself permission to be selfish and take care of your own needs. You cannot fully take care of others unless you also take care of yourself • Become involved in community activities to avoid/reduce any feelings of isolation • Enroll in a class or program to increase your skills • Sign up for individual and/or group counseling related to abuse (available at REACH Family Services 1-800-265-8087 and Haldimand & Norfolk Women’s Services 1-800-265-8076)


• Create an EMERGENCY ESCAPE KIT which includes the following: • A change of clothes for you and your children • Copies of your car/house/office keys • Your local shelter’s crisis line (toll free) number, other important numbers • Emergency cash • Your address/ telephone book • Medication for you and your children • Extra assistive devices such as glasses, cane, hearing aid, etc. PHOTOCOPIES OF YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN'S ... • Passports • Birth certificates • Immigration papers • School and vaccination records • Driver’s license and registration • Medication and eyeglass prescriptions and medical records • Ontario Works, EI, or ODSP papers, pay stubs and benefit cards • Work permits • Divorce papers • Custody documentation • Court Orders and/or Restraining Order • Marriage certificate

• Lease/rental agreement • House deed and mortgage payment book • Bank books, bank statements, RRSP account numbers • Insurance papers • Address/telephone book • Picture of your partner • Health cards for yourself and your children • All cards you normally use (visa, phone, SIN, interact) • Assessment from Revenue Canada



TOLL-FREE 24-HOUR CRISIS LINE 1-800-265-8076

General Safety Tips

Safety Planning at Work

• If you are attacked and cannot leave the situation or defend yourself, protect your most sensitive areas by balling up and covering your head, neck, and ears • Ensure that your house number is well lit so emergency services can locate your home during an emergency • Back your car into the driveway and make sure that gas is always in it • Trust your gut instincts! Get out of a situation if you feel there is risk, and prepare an excuse ahead of time to leave situations where risk may arise • Leave the driver’s door unlocked in your car in case you need to leave quickly. Lock all other doors. Check your vehicle’s back seat and interior before entering • Ensure all shrubbery in your yard is trimmed to less than three feet tall and three feet wide so a person can not conceal themselves • Add lighting to your yard and driveway area so you can view your entire yard and driveway without leaving your home • When adding deadbolts and other locks to your door, place them as high up as possible to make it more difficult for someone to kick the lock to breach the door • Make sure you don’t have anything beside patio doors and windows that someone could use to break through your doors or windows such as: wheelbarrows, logs of wood, bricks, yard tools, etc. Keep these things locked in a shed if possible • Make any calls you do not want your (ex) partner to know about at a safe place like a friend or neighbour’s home (you can always visit your local shelter to make calls related to safety) • Keep your cell phone charged. Even if you do not have minutes on your cell phone you can always call 911 • Keep at least 50 cents with you at all times in case you need to use a pay phone • Purchase a personal alarm from the hardware store or online (it will make an alarm noise if pressed that may scare off an attacker) • Consider purchasing a home alarm and window alarms • Wear a safety whistle • If you have a BlackBerry or iPhone, get the free YWCA SAFETY SIREN APP Download by going to the BlackBerry App World or Apple App Store and searching “Safety Siren” • Learn about self defense and educate yourself about self defense laws in Ontario • Consult a lawyer about your rights and choices • It is a good idea to open your own bank account and put some money aside in case of an emergency • Consider getting a large breed dog and training it to be protective • When out in the community (walking, running, etc.) be aware of your surroundings and avoid using earphones / listening to music so you can hear if someone Is approaching you

• Talk with someone you trust and ask for support. Your Employer has a legal obligation to help keep you safe at work. If you can’t talk to your employer, try a manager, a supervisor, security personnel, a union rep, human resources, a member of the health and safety committee, the EAP, or a co-worker


• Provide your employer (and security personnel) with the following: a copy of any protection/restraining orders in place, a recent photo of your (ex)partner, and a description of vehicles they may use • If you have a restraining or protection order, check if your workplace is listed on the document. If not, consider trying to have this added • Keep a log of all abusive incidents and how these incidents may have affected you and your work • Ask your workplace to help keep you safe by: Ensuring employees are aware they are never to give out personal information about coworkers (schedules, whereabouts, contact information). Removing your name from public directories. Having a panic button installed in your work area. Having your calls screened. Moving your work area/desk to a location less visible to visitors and away from windows. Blocking your (ex)partner’s address and telephone number from the email and telephone systems. Ensuring the parking lot is well lit and providing you with a priority parking spot near the building. For more information, visit



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