If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship, please feel free to call our hotline (800-775-9011 or 479-246-9999) which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A staff member can talk to you about your situation, strategies for coping, and other possible resources for getting assistance. Staff can also help you with the most important consideration in leaving, safety planning.
Leaving a violent or abusive relationship can be difficult and dangerous, so careful planning is important to protect yourself and your children.
When Preparing to Leave
A. When you actually leave the home, you are at the greatest risk. It is better not to tell your abuser that you are planning to leave. Try to leave when the abuser is not home.
B. Accumulate things like a second set of keys, important documents, money, medicine, and clothes with someone you trust or in a secret, safe place.
C. Plan with someone you trust in advance to arrange for a place to stay. This can be a friend, a family member, or a women’s shelter. Keep in mind that the abuser may know where your friends and family are and may easily find you.
D. Write down important phone numbers, including that of the local police, women’s shelter, and family in case you lose your phone or get it taken away from you.
E. A women’s shelter will help you find a place for you to leave your pets in case you cannot take them with you to a friend’s or to the shelter.
What to Take
Important documents to have when leaving:
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate, yours and your children’s
- Social security cards
- Passports or other documents related to citizenship or work permits
- Money and credit cards in your name
- Order of Protection or Restraining Order
- Car registration and insurance papers
- Health and life insurance papers
- Medical records for you and your children
- Divorce and custody papers
- Marriage license