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Choose the suggestions listed here that make the most sense for you and your set of circumstances.
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Safety During an Explosive incident
- Try to avoid rooms that don't have exits (bathrooms), or that contain weapons (kitchens). Try to stay in a room with a phone, TTY or keep a cellular phone with you.
- Be aware of things in your house that could be used as weapons. Have a plan for protecting yourself from weapons in the house. Know where guns, knives and hunting weapons are kept.
- Keep your purse or wallet and keys ready to leave suddenly.
- Practice getting out of your home safely with your children. Visualize several escape routes.
- Plan a safe place to go if you have to leave suddenly.
- Practice a code word or signal with your neighbor, children and family for when you need them to help.
- If you are being attacked, curl up and protect your head. Teach your children/ grandchildren to do the same.
- If you have a disability that limits your mobility and impacts your safety during an explosive incident, think about how you might access assistance for protection or to flee.
Preparing to Leave
- Hide a bag packed with essential items, copies of important documents, and any medications or assistive devices you need with someone you trust. If possible, pack a few comfort items for yourself or your children.
- If you have a car, make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver's door unlocked and others locked for a quick escape.
- Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day or night so your abuser does not suspect your plans to leave.
- Open a bank account or credit card in your own name or have money stored in a secret place. Make sure your accounts have passwords that your abuser cannot guess.
- Be aware that your abuser can discover your plans or location by monitoring your phone or TTY, checking your e-mail or internet searches, or by placing a hidden recorder, camera or locator device in your personal belongings or car.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) to connect with a domestic abuse program for assistance. Keep a cell phone or telephone calling card with you at all times for emergency phone calls.
- Consider getting a Domestic Abuse, Harassment and/or Child Abuse Restraining Order (RO). Or if you are a person with a disability or over 60 years of age, you may qualify for an Individuals at Risk Restraining Order. The local domestic abuse program can assist you.
- If you are 60 years or older, contact your county/tribal aging unit to seek assistance with housing, health care, benefits or other services you might need or want. Make sure you have your medication, prescriptions and/or assistive devices.
- If you are concerned about your immigration status, talk to an immigration expert or your local domestic violence program about options. You may qualify for relief under the Violence Against Women Act.
- Consider getting caller ID, an unlisted phone number or cell phone. Be aware and cautious of ways cell phones, TTY machines, cordless phones and internet use can be tracked. Many domestic abuse programs can assist with obtaining 911 cell phones.
- Keep your Restraining Order document with you at all times and give a copy to your children's schools.
- Rent a post office box for your mail so you can receive deliveries confidentially.
- Change the locks on your doors. Get more locks, safety devices, and lighting.
If You Have Children
- Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
- Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help.
- Teach them a signal you can use if you want them to summon help or call 911. Make sure they know how to get help or call 911, where to go to be safe, and how older children can help younger ones.
- Tell any adult who is sometimes in charge of your children about your situation and how they can help keep you and your children safe from the abuser.
- Make sure your children know what other adults you trust and what information you do not want shared with others.
- When meeting your abuser to exchange the children, insist on a busy public place where other people will be close by.
Safety & Emotional Health
- If you are thinking of leaving or returning, discuss your plan with someone you can trust to support you.
- If you have to communicate with your abuser, arrange to do so in the way that you feel safest.
- Attend a support group or call the domestic abuse program hotline for information and support.
General Safety Tips
- Be aware of how technology may both help you and hinder your safety. Use public computers such as those in your library rather than in your home.
- Be aware that cellular phones can contain GPS tracking devices or that calls can be intercepted.
Important Phone #'s
- Police: 911
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- TTY: 1-800-787-3224
- WI Hmong Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-888-345-5898
- Services for Elder Victims of Domestic Violence: 1-608-266-2536
- Unidos Against Domestic Violence: 1-800-510-9195
- Services for Deaf Victims of Domestic Violence: Deaf Unity email: DHFSDeafUnity@wisconsin.gov
- Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault: 608-257-1516
- Your Local Domestic Abuse Program: __________________________________
- Other Important Phone Numbers : _____________________________________