Don’t Leave Until You’re Ready
Identify and practice how to get out of your home safely.
Prepare a suitcase and leave it with a friend. See our suggested checklist for items to pack.
Open a post office box so that you can receive mail/checks.
Determine ahead of time when you might be able to stay temporarily. Keep in mind that you don’t want your abuser to find you.
Keep important phone numbers on you, including numbers of domestic violence shelters.
Purchase a phone card and keep it in your wallet.
Try to save money in a separate savings account in your name, or give money to hold to a trusted friend.
Review your safety plan as often as possible.
Safety At Home (When the Abuser has Moved Out)
- Change the locks on your doors.
- Buy locks for your windows.
- Talk to a neighbor about the violence, and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
Safety Planning with your Children
- Plan and rehearse an escape route out of your home.
Teach them a code word, and tell them to call 911 when you use that code word.
Teach them how to use a public telephone to dial 911.
Inform your children’s school, day care provider, etc. about who has permission to pick your children up.
If necessary, provide school/day care personnel with a photo of your abuser, with strict instructions not to release your child to that person. Make sure they have a copy of your restraining order, if you have one.
Ask school personnel not to give out your address or phone number.
Safety During an Incident With Your Abuser
- Stay out of rooms that have no exit (closets, bathrooms).
Avoid rooms that have weapons (kitchens, bedrooms where there may be a gun).
Select and use a code word that alerts your friends, neighbors and family members to call 911.
Use your instincts. If the situation is dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he or she wants to calm him or her down.
Items To Take – Checklist
1. Identification & driver’s license
2. Car registration, title, & insurance
3. Birth certificates for self & children
4. Social Security cards
5. School & medical records
6. Cash, bankbooks, ATM, & credit cards
7. Extra keys – house/car/office
8. Changes of clothes
10. Eyeglasses & contacts
11. Food & supplies for pets
12. Pet registration & medical records
13. Cash & food assistance cards
14. Child support orders
15. Passport(s), Green Card, Visa Permits
16. Divorce & custody documents
17. Marriage license
18. Copies of protective orders
19. Agreements – lease/rental/deeds
20. Mortgage payment book
21. Current unpaid bills in my name
22. Health & life insurance documents
23. Jewelry, heirlooms, photos & items of sentimental value
24. Children’s toys & blankets
25. Address book/emergency numbers:
- RI Statewide Helpline (800.494.8100)
Trusted friends and family; school; work
Local police; doctor’s office; hospital
Community agencies; veterinarian
DVRC provides a comprehensive range of services for victims of domestic violence and their children, including a confidential Safe Home, Transitional Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing units, a Helpline & Drop-In Center, Support Groups, One-on-One Counseling and Court Advocacy.
How To Help
Volunteers are an integral part of our team, and help in a variety of ways through time, talent or treasure. Opportunities include work within our Drop-In Center, hosting an event, or making a gift, which directly impacts the clients we serve.
All of our services – residential, counseling, court advocacy – are provided free of charge to all of our clients regardless of their financial situation. Your gift allows us to continue this life-saving work by directly assisting clients and their children who are experiencing domestic violence.