Prepare to leave

Create a firm plan of action

If you are trying to leave and your partner becomes angry, call 9-1-1 for your safety.

Remember that leaving a violent relationship can be dangerous — take precautions and prepare accordingly to keep yourself safe and as balanced as possible.  It is better to leave something behind than risk your safety or your children’s.

If you are preparing to leave your partner as a result of domestic violence, below you will find some tips and a checklist on what you need to take with you. You know your own situation best — it may not be safe to gather every item.

Document the abuse

  • Keep a hidden journal
  • Take photos of injuries to yourself and damage to property
  • Get medical attention & make copies of medical records
  • Show injuries to family & friends
  • Make copies of bills for doctors visits and damage to property

Prepare a safe space

  • Choose a room with a window
  • Install inside locks or plan barricades
  • Have a telephone in that room; borrow or buy a cell phone to keep with you
  • Arrange a signal for help with a neighbor
  • Remove weapons

Find a safe place to stay

  • Arrange to stay with friends or family
  • Call a local shelter and complete the intake process in advance
  • Keep gas in your car

Gather identification

  • Important personal documents such as your driver’s license, social insurance number, birth certificates, immigration papers, social service papers, etc.
  • Rent and utility receipts or mortgage papers
  • Prescriptions
  • Receipts for property
  • Car title and registration
  • Tax records
  • Bank statements
  • Address book