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 immediate danger call 000
Other useful numbers
- Safe Steps 24/7: 1800 015 188
- Need to talk? Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 015 188
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU
If you need to leave home – take these things with you:
- Money (including cash and cards)
- Keys to car, house and work
- Mobile phone and charge
- Extra clothes
- Birth certificates
- School and medical records (include immunization records)
- ATM and credit cards
- Tax File Number documentation
- Driver’s License and car registration details
- Medicare card, Healthcare card and Centrelink information
- Passports and visa documents
- Lease, rental, mortgage and insurance papers
- Address book
- Pictures, jewellery, things that mean a lot to you
- Children’s things (toys, blankets, nappies etc.)
Remember to regularly update your safety plan.
If you are in aN ABUSIVE 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 immediate danger call 000
- Go to a safe place in your home, where you can leave easily. Avoid areas where objects may be used as weapons.
How to keep children safe
- Seek advice on how to talk to your children (depending on age) about family violence and how to include them in your safety plan.
- Make up a code word with your children so they know what to do when things become unsafe. For example, a word that means ‘hide in your room’ or ‘go to the neighbours house’.
- 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 can run to for safety or contact in an emergency.
- Talk to your children about safer use of social media.
Make a plan to leave
If you are living with the person using violence – change your web browser settings – search in private mode or clear browser history entirely.
- Contact a domestic or family violence service.
- Try to get a new phone with a new sim card, you can pick both of these up from the supermarket.
- Keep your bank account details private from your abuser or open a new account.
- Use a public computer (e.g. local Library) or a friend’s computer, not one at home.
- Keep a bag packed so you can easily take it. Hide it or leave it with a trusted friend.
- Decide who you will call if you feel threatened or in danger.
- Keep a neighbour’s phone number to call in an emergency.
ONCE YOU LEAVE aN ABUSIVE relationship
- Make sure you remove your devices from any cloud services – so devices across the family are not shared.
- Change your device and account setting, but you can alert the perpetrator that something is happening, so be careful and plan how to do this first.
- For more information on technology safety planning go to the WESNET website – technology safety plan
- Set your social media accounts to private and change the passwords for logging in, do not post any information about where you are located or anywhere you visit.
- Have a technician check your computer or tablet device for spyware.
- Do not enable GPS on your devices.
Security at home and at 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.
- Get an Intervention Order (FVIO) from the Police Station or a Magistrate’s Court, include your workplace and children in it. Keep a copy with you at all times. Give a copy to your employer, your children/s carers and school.
- Advise work about the situation and ask them to screen your calls and block any emails from outside the organisation. Give them a copy of the FVIO and a photo of the abuser for security.
- If you have to stay at home, make sure you change the locks to secure the house and install cameras and outside lights.
- If you see the perpetrator go to a public/busy place as soon as possible.
Keep your details private
- After you have changed your mobile number then set it to private.
- Get a Post Office Box for important mail or keep your home address completely private.
- Change your usual routine, walk a different route, shop in different areas, catch another form of transport.
- Change your email address, avoid using personal details as the account name.