POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 83 ...continued Plan for your safety if you are in an abusive relationship It's important to make a plan to keep you and your children safe. Ask a friend, neighbour or coworker you trust to help you, or contact local services. There are also online tools to help and ways to make sure you browse safely. Even if you're not planning to leave the relationship, a safety plan can help in case the abuse gets worse. You may have to leave in a hurry. Make sure to take actions in a way that makes sense for you-for example, one at a time or in stages-and is safe for you and your children. 5 steps to make your safety plan 1. Do your research 2. Decide how you can leave quickly - or stay safely 3. Talk to your children 4. Gather important items 5. Be careful about your computer 1. Do your research • Talk to family, friends or a trusted professional who can help you make plans. • Get legal advice about your rights. • Find services in your area, such as shelters and financial aid. 2. Decide how you can leave quickly - or stay safely If you stay - tips to live more safely • Tell someone you trust about the abuse. • Think about your partner's past use and level of force. This will help you predict what type of danger you and your children are facing and when to leave. • Create a plan to get out of your home safely and practice it with your children. • Choose the closest place to call for helpa coffee shop or neighbour's house. • Decide where you will go (for example, a friend's house or local shelter, safe home or transition house) and how you will get there. • Ask your neighbours, friends and family to call the police if they hear sounds of abuse and to look after your children in an emergency. • Park your car by backing it into the driveway. Keep it fuelled. • Hide your keys, cell phone and some money near your escape route. • Have a list of phone numbers to call for help. • Your local shelter or police may be able to equip you with a panic button/cell phone. • Make sure all weapons and ammunition are hidden or removed from your home. In an emergency • If an argument is developing, move to a space where you can get outside easily: find doors and windows that could help you escape. • Think about rooms where you could be trapped, or where there are weapons such as knives that could be used against you - try to avoid going into these rooms during a violent episode. • If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask them to document your visit. • If you are being hurt, protect your face with your arms around each side of your head, with your fingers locked together. Don't wear scarves or long jewelry. Are you a child or teenager who needs help? Call the Kids' Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. The call is free of charge and you don't need to give your name. Public Health Agency of Canada Agence de la santé publique du Canada HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR SAFETY