If you have experienced violence in the home, you and your children may have to leave in a hurry. There are a number of things you can do to be prepared in case you decide that you must leave.
In considering your Domestic Violence Safety Plan you can:
- have a bag ready with things you will need (see ’emergency suitcase’ below). Hide it, or give it to a trusted friend or family member to keep for you
- have a code word that you can use via the phone, sms or social media that tells a friend, family or colleagues that you feel unsafe and need assistance
- decide on the best way to leave the house (which door and windows) if you need to leave in a hurry
- think about where you will go if you have to leave in a hurry, know where the nearest police station is
- ask neighbours to call the police if they hear a commotion from the house (or you use your code word)
- keep your phone charged and have the phone number of a domestic violence crisis service in a safe place
- if you are feeling worried, have someone check in with you at agreed times, or call them at agreed times.
You can get assistance to develop a safety plan that suits your particular situation. Contact a local domestic violence support service for advice.
You might not be able to have your Medicare or other important documents hidden away, but you can take a photocopy or scan them.
If you keep it at home, your bag should be light and safely hidden but easy to grab. If it is with a family member or friend you can put more in it.
Important things to take include:
- cash you’ve been able to put aside (if you have other money in a bank account only you can access, that’s a bonus)
- forms of identification like Centrelink and child support documents, birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, bank details, legal documents (restraining orders and family law documents)
- a medications list, spare scripts and medical or immunisation records
- spare house and car keys
- a recent photo of your ex-partner
- rental or mortgage documents and insurance documents
- address book and important phone numbers (family, friends, school, refuge, domestic violence support agency, your workplace)
- anything else that is essential to your or your children’s well-being.
When possible you can also include basic toiletries, clothing, toys for children, items of sentimental value.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Police Emergency 000