Contacting the police is one way you can protect yourself from further abuse. However, the following preplanning tips should also be considered:
- Keep emergency and hotline numbers accessible
- Contact local shelters and discuss safe ways to leave and places for you and your children to go
- Keep an extra set of house and car keys hidden in a safe, quickly accessible place
- Put the following things together in one place where you can access them quickly: identification, money, checkbooks, credit cards, medications, legal papers, change of clothing, address books, appointment books, immigration papers, child custody orders, and anything which could not be easily duplicated
- Develop plans to contact police or find a temporary hiding place with a trustworthy friend
- If time allows, consider moving furniture into storage, hiding or destroying weapons, leaving food for pets which cannot be housed at shelters
- Hide or destroy anything that might give a clue as to where you are going
- DO NOT LEAVE A NOTE!
Note: If relocation affects a minor child, seek the advice of the Police Department or a private attorney regarding child abduction laws prior to relocating.