1 in 3 Australian women experience family violence. If you are in this situation and you and your children’s safety is at risk, you may need to leave in a hurry.
Use this information to make a safety plan that works for you:
If you are in danger
If you are in danger call 000
Other useful numbers
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188
- Need to talk? Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732
- Men’s Referral Service: 1800 065 973
- Kid’s Help Line: 1800 551 800
Take these items if possible
Take these items if possible
- Keys to car, house, work
- Extra clothes
- Birth certificates
- School and medical records (immunization records)
- Bank cards, credit cards, tax file number
- Driver’s license, car registration
- Healthcare card
- Medicare card and Centrelink information
- Passports, visa copies
- Lease, rental, mortgage and insurance papers
- Address book
- Pictures, jewellery, things that mean a lot to you
- Children’s things (toys, blankets, nappies etc.)
- Recent photograph of your ex-partner
If you are in a violent relationship
It’s easier to leave a violent partner if you have a clear plan. Follow these steps when preparing to leave.
In an emergency
- If you are in danger call 000
- Go to a safe place. Safer places in your home are where there are two exits and no hard surfaces.
How to keep children safe
- Seek advice on how to talk to your child about domestic violence and how to include them into your safety plan
- Make up a code word with your children for when you need help
- Teach children how to dial 000 and practice what to say. “My name is ___ . My address is ___ and my mum is being hurt.” Tell children not to hang up the phone so services can hear what is happening and find you.
- Tell your children which neighbour, friend or relative they could run to for safety or contact in an emergency
Make a plan to leave
- Get a new Prepaid SIM Card with credit to use in your phone or have coins for a phone box
- Keep your bank account details private or open a new account so your abuser does not have access to your finances
- Use a public computer (e.g. library or community centre) or a friend’s computer that your abuser can’t access
- Keep a bag packed so you can easily take it with you. Hide it where you can get to it easily, or leave it with a trusted friend.
- Decide who you will call if you feel threatened or in danger
Once you leave a violent relationship
When abusers feel a loss of control, like when victims try to leave them, the abuse often gets worse. Take special care and seek support.
Get a Intervention Order (IO)
- Get a Family Violence Intervention Order from the court. Include your workplace and children in it. Keep a copy with you all the time.
- Advise your children’s carers who is allowed to pick them up. Give a copy of the Intervention Order to police, your employer, your children’s carers and school.
Security at home and work
- Tell friends and neighbours that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.
- Advise work about your situation and ask them to screen your calls and block your emails. Give a copy of the Intervention Order and a picture of the abuser to your workplace.
- Change the locks on your house and car. Consider installing stronger doors, a security system and outside lights.
Keep your details private
- Change your mobile number and have it set on ‘private’ by your provider
- Get a P.O. Box for important mail or keep your home address private
- Don’t use the same stores that you did when you were with your abuser
- Ask government agencies like centrelink, medicare, gas, electricity, law firms, doctors, schools, hospitals etc to keep your details private.
Stay private online
- Change your email address. Avoid using any personal details as the account name.
- Have a computer technician check your computer for spyware programs.
- Delete your Facebook account and your kids’ accounts. People can accidently reveal your whereabouts and social circles without realising they have done so.
- Keep a neighbour’s phone number to call in an emergency