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PERSONAL SAFETY WHILE WITH THE ABUSER

  • Plan what you should do before any violence occurs.
  • Identify your partner's use and level of force so you can assess danger to you and your children before it happens.
  • Avoid kitchens and bathrooms if violence occurs as many objects in these rooms can be used as weapons. Avoid rooms with no windows or doors.
  • If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target; dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head.
  • Don't run to where your children are as they may also get injured.
  • If possible, have a phone accessible at all times. Don't be afraid to call the police.
  • Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Instruct them not to tell the abuser about the plan.
  • Tell your children that violence is never right. Tell them that you are not at fault for the violence nor are they.
  • Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan with them when you need help.
  • Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
  • Back the car into the driveway and keep it fueled. Keep driver's door unlocked for quick escape.
  • Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day and night.
  • Tell neighbors to call the police if they hear any suspicious noises coming from your house.

 

Contact Victim Services in the Gwinnett County Solicitor's Office for more information on personal safety - 770-822-8300.


 SAFETY WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE

·         Decide where you will go if you need to leave your home. Pick more than one place where you know you will be safe. Be prepared to sneak out if necessary.

·         If you are unsure where to go- call The Partnership Against Domestic Violence at 770-963-9799 for a referral.

·         Contact The Partnership 770/963-9799 or Victim Services in the Solicitor's Office to find out about laws and other resources available to you before you need them in a crisis.

·        Acquire job skills if possible at a community college or technical school.

·        Keep change for phone calls as well as money for cabs or bus fare.

·        Hide an extra set of car keys.

·         If possible, memorize some important phone numbers such as Gwinnett Help Line 770-995-3339.

·        You may wish to pack a change of clothes for you and your children.

·         Create a false trail. Call motels, real estate agencies, and schools in a town at least six hours away from where you will relocate. Ask questions that will require a call back to your house to leave phone numbers on record.

·        Gather as many of the following items as you can and put them in a safe place outside your home:

Information on you and your children:

 

Birth certificates

Insurance Policies

Marriage certificates

Medical Records

Vaccination records

Dental Records

Passports

Prescription information

School records

Social security numbers

Title to cars

Personal phone numbers   

Copy of recent credit report  

Spare keys

Recent photos

 

 

 

Information on your batterer:

Social security number

Driver's license number

Date of birth

Credit card information

Pay stubs

Work information

Addresses of family/friends   

Bank accounts

Car information

A recent photo

Criminal history/documents

Current, complete address    (if not living together)

 

Information on Financial Accounts:

        Any and all information on financial accounts for you individually, and any shared accounts.

 

SAFETY AFTER YOU LEAVE

 

If you obtain a protective order and the abuser is leaving:

  • Change the locks and get an unlisted phone number.
  • Change usual routes and times of travel to work or school.
  • Keep a copy of the protective order with you at all times. Give a copy to employers, neighbors, schools, daycare, etc. along with a picture of the abuser.
  • Get a dog. Get a security system in your home or apartment.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Inform your neighbors of your situation and ask them to be lookouts.
  • Talk to a trusted friend or vitim advocate about the abuse.
  • Find a support group to attend to build a support base for yourself with other women who are or who have gone through situations similar to yours.
  • Obtain counseling for your children.
  • Alert your office of your situation and have your calls screened if possible.
  • Get caller ID and caller block on your phone so no one can get your new unlisted number.
  • Call the police to enforce the protective order.

 

BUILDING YOUR CASE

 

Always be prepared in case you call the police for assistance and in case you go to court. The following are suggestions of things to do to build your case.

 

Medical Reports: If you are harmed, get medical treatment and provide your healthcare provider with the true cause of your injuries/complaints for accurate charting. Get and keep a copy of the medical report in a safe place.

 

Police Reports: Always have the police make a report whenever you have to call them. Get copies of all police reports and keep them in a safe place such as with a friend or relative.

 

Photograph Injuries and Property Damage: Even though the police may take photos, these photos may not be available to you when you need them. Have someone take photos of you the day of the incident and again in 2-3 days. Keep these photos in a very safe place.

 

Gather Documents & Receipts: Keep all receipts for medical expenses, attorney fees, and moving/rental expenses that occur as a result of the abuse. Gather proof of his income in case child support becomes an issue. Gather information about yours and his individual assets and debts for proof of financial capability and burdens in the event that separation or divorce occurs. Always know his social security number and birth date.

 

Keep A Diary: Make a diary or log of every incident. Note the date and time and describe in detail what happened. Keep track of witnesses' full names and contact information. Keep this in a very safe place.