Safety plan for after you leave

Many women tell us that they are often most at risk once they have left their partner.  There are a number of things you can consider to enhance the safety of yourself and your children.

The ideas contained here are only a guide to assist you. You need to trust your instincts. You know your partner better than anyone else. Only you can decide what will be the safest course of action for you and your children.

  • If you are in danger, see Need Help Now.
  • Speak to your local women’s domestic violence service. They can provide you with information and support.
  • Try and have a mobile phone on you at all times. You can still call 000 or 112 for emergency services, even without credit.   If he knows your number, you may wish to consider changing it.
  • If you remain in your own home, change your locks in case your partner has a spare key. Consider installing security doors and window screens, and/or duress alarms. Victims Support Service may be able to assist you if you cannot afford it through their Staying Home, Staying Safe Program. They may also be able to provide you with a home safety audit to ensure your home is as secure as possible.
  • Consider applying  for an intervention order. Tell your friends, family and neighbours that you have a restraining order and that the person you are fleeing is not permitted to be at or near your house. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser attempting to follow, harass or enter your property.
  • Get your own bank account.
  • Get a silent phone number. To get a silent number, you will need to contact your telephone service provider. There may be a cost involved.
  • Have your address removed from the publically available electoral roll by becoming a silent elector.
  • If you access your bank, Centrelink, electricity, gas or phone accounts online, make sure you change your password to that they can’t be accessed by anyone else.
  • Ask Centrelink to password protect your Centrelink account, as an additional security measure.
  • Always take someone with you if you cannot avoid seeing your abuser, for example, when picking up and dropping off children.  Consider conducting handovers at a police station or a children’s contact centre.
  • Advise your children’s school/child care centre of the names of people allowed to collect them.
  • Get an answering machine to screen calls. You can save any intimidating messages and report them to the police.
  • Get a post office box so that no-one can take your mail.
  • Take different routes when driving to and from school.
  • Change regular appointments (medical, legal etc) that may be known to your partner or former partner.
  • There are many crisis services if you need to contact them.
  • Carefully consider who you provide your new contact details to ensure this does not get passed on to someone who may give it the your abuser.
  • If you are in paid employment, and it is safe for you to do so, discuss a workplace safety plan with your employer.
  • See Computer Safety for ideas to enhance your safety when using computers.

 

(a) To open a bank account you’ll need to take along some identification, such as a birth certificate, a driver’s licence, and/or a Medicare card (your bank can tell you exactly what you’ll need to take). You may also need to provide your tax file number so that you can be identified for tax purposes.

 

(b) If you believe that you or any member of your family would be endangered by having your address appear on an electoral roll, you can apply to become a silent elector. You will need to complete the form: Request by an elector for address not to be shown on the electoral roll.