When a woman is leaving or has left her abusive partner, he will usually see it as a direct challenge of his need for and sense of control. If the couple has children, the abuser’s feeling that he is losing control will often be even more intense. Abuse and violence (including sexual assault) will often increase around separation, and it is important for the woman to have a safety plan and you can help her with this.
Some things you may suggest that a women include in a safety plan are:
• escape routes
• a list of things she may want to take with her when she leaves her home
• addresses and telephone numbers of places she can go in an emergency
• names and contact numbers of people she can trust
• ways to secure her home
• ways to block or record phone calls
• ways she can change her usual routine (such as visits to the doctor or places she shops)
• making arrangements for her pets
• arranging for people to go with her to her car
You should encourage the woman to contact her local transition house www.thans.ca for help with safety planning and support.
You can help her prepare a safety plan for her children by encouraging her to:
• teach the children what to do if they see her being abused
• show them how to leave the house safely in an emergency
• pick a safe room or location to go
• identify people (neighbours, family members, friends,teachers) they can trust
• explain that the most important thing they can do is keep themselves safe
• teach them how to contact someone for help
• rehearse how to call 911
• ensure they know their own names and address.
For more information on safety planning click here for victims services brochure on safety planning.
“One thing that really helped me through this was talking to other women who have
been through the same things”.
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