If you feel you need assistance in creating a personalized detailed safety plan, Harbour House is here to help.
You do not have to stay at Harbour House to access Harbour House services. We also have outreach services for both women and children. Remember you are never alone, we are here for support when you need us!
"What To Expect" covers how our process works. Read on for a general checklist should you want to leave your situation.
Checklist for preparing to leave an abusive relationship
- Have ready several places you can go if you have to flee your home, friends, family, the local shelter, police.
- People who might help you if you leave. Whether it be someone to confide in, someone to help you travel, someone to store some belongings for your, or to allow you to stay. Remember if you plan to store belongings somewhere you can take things over gradually while you are planning to leave.
- Make plans for your pets.
- Have your cell phone charged and ready, also your charger. If you do not have a cell phone have change to make calls.
- Opening a bank account in your name only, or get a credit card in your name only. Have statements sent to a different address, or online only.
- How you might leave; your own car, taxi, transport, or a friend. Try doing things that get you out of the house. Also practice how you might leave the house, and where exactly you might go.
- How can you take your children safely? There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to be able to protect yourself in order to protect your children. It is important to consider speaking to family court regarding custody.
- Putting together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you get. Include important paperwork, sentimental items, some clothing, and some cash if possible.
- Have important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Police, friends and the local shelter should be on that list.
- Tell someone you trust what is happening. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises.
- If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word you can use when you need help. Let them know they are not responsible for the violence.
- Practice ways to get out of your home safely. Think about safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is about to happen, try to get to your abuser to one of those safer places.
- Even if you don't plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house; taking out the trash, walking the dog, or going to the store.
- Park your car where it cannot be blocked, and keep it fueled.
- Your safety, you still need to be cautious.
- Getting a cell phone.
- Getting a protection order. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, anyone who takes care of your children, their schools, and your boss, Make sure to contact the police if the protection order has been violated. Your local shelter can help you with the application of this.
- Changing the locks, and adding security to your home. Consider putting in stronger doors and locks, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system, and outside lights.
- Tell your friends and neighbours your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to phone the police if they see or hear anything suspicious or violent.
- Tell someone at work what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls if possible, Consider how you will get to and from work, school, or anywhere public safely.
- Who can you call when your are feeling down.
Signs you may be in an abuse relationship. Does your partner:
- Check the calls made on your cell phone?
- Check your e-mails?
- Call or text you all the time to check up on you?
- Tell you how to dress?
- Act jealous or suspicious when you go out?
- Yell at you?
- Call you names?
- Push and/or hit you?
- Not allow you to see certain people?
- Punch walls?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may want to find ways to change the balance in that relationship. A healthy relationship is made with two healthy people, who have good boundaries and anger management skills.