Whether or not you are contemplating leaving an abusive partner, it is important that you establish a plan to ensure the safety of both yourself and your children should an abusive situation arises. If you need help creating a plan please contact our counsellors at 902-422-7650.
Things to consider if you’re in an abusive relationship:
- Have important phone numbers nearby for you and your children, including the police, hotlines, friends and Bryony House. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911.
- Speak with your neighbours and people you can trust; let them know about the abuse. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises.
- Identify safe places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel a violent situation is going to occur try to get your abuser to one of these safer places. Never go to the kitchen (lots of weapons) or bathroom (water).
- Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Establish an escape route. Know where you can go to be safe, if only to make a phone call.
- Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store.
- Put together a bag of things you use every day (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
- Get legal and other advice now. Do not wait for an emergency. Bryony House staff can help if you are not sure who you can talk to.
- Hide some money away if possible; you may need emergency taxi fare.
- Talk to the children. They need to know where and who to go to in an emergency.
- If you have been abused before, make sure the police are fully aware of the situation.
Your safety is the most important thing.
Things to consider if you’re thinking of leaving your abuser.
- Places you could go if you leave your home.
- People who might help you if you leave.
- Think about people who will keep a bag for you.
- Think about people who might lend you money.
- Make plans for your pets.
- Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.
- Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
- How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself so you are able to protect your children.
- Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
Suggested Items to Take (if possible)
- Keys to car, house, work
- Extra clothes
- Important papers for you and your children
- Birth certificates
- Health Cards
- School and medical records
- Bankbooks, credit cards
- Driver’s license
- Car registration and insurance
- Lease/rental agreement
- Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
- Insurance papers
- Emergency Protection Order, divorce papers, custody orders
- Address book
- Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
- Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)