Life after abuse

What do I do now?

When you’re preparing for your future without your violent partner, there are certain things you need to do to insure yours and your child’s safety, if you have any. It may seem overwhelming but precautions should most definitely be taken.

  • Change your locks and phone number.
  • Call the telephone company to request caller ID. Ask that your phone number be blocked so that if you call anyone, neither your partner nor anyone else will be able to get your new, unlisted phone number.
  • Change your work hours and the route you take to work.
  • Change the route taken to transport children to school or consider changing your children’s schools.
  • Alert school authorities of the situation.
  • If you have a restraining order, keep a certified copy of it with you at all times, and inform friends, neighbors and employers that you have a restraining order in effect.
  • Call law enforcement to enforce the order and give copies of the restraining order to employers, neighbors and schools along with a picture of the offender.
  • Consider renting a post office box or using the address of a friend for your mail (be aware that addresses are on restraining orders and police reports, and be careful to whom you give your new address and phone number).
  • Reschedule appointments that the offender is aware of.
  • Use different stores and frequent different social spots.
  • Alert neighbors and request that they call the police if they feel you may be in danger.
  • Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors. Install security systems if possible.
  • Install a motion sensitive lighting system.
  • 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 or drive them/pick them up from school and activities. Explain your situation to them and provide them with a copy of the restraining order.

    Some of this information is adapted from: Copyright © 1998 by the National Center for Victims of Crime. This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.

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