Leaving can present its own complications – and no matter what the situation, being on your own can be a challenging and difficult time. If you've left, here are some steps you can take to stay safe – and keep your children safe – while you create your new life.
Safety for your children ...
- If you have a Protection from Abuse order or a family matter judgment, give copies to your child/ren's schools and childcare. Let them know who has permission to pick up the children and give them your code word. Discuss with them other special provisions you've put in place to protect you and your children.
- If you have to arrange child visits with your abusive partner, exchange children in a public place or through a third party.
Safety and emotional help ...
- Get support. Call Family Violence Project helpline at 1.877.89.7788 to talk to one of our advocates and/or attend a support group.
- Do what's safe for you. If you have to communicate with the abuser, arrange contact by phone, mail or make sure your'e in the company of another person. Do not meet with the abuser alone.
Safety in the workplace ...
- If there's someone at work you trust, tell him or her about your situation. If you work in a small business, this person may just be a co-worker. If you work for a larger company, you might want to alert your office or building security, and provide a photo of your abuser if possible. In Maine, there are laws that protect you from losing your job if you are struggling with an abusive situation, are trying to leave one, or are being harassed by your abuser at work. Check them out.
- Arrange to have someone screen your calls
- When you leave work, make plans to be escorted to your car, and then vary your route home. Drive to the nearest police station if you're being followed – and find out where it is before you need it!
See our workplace safety guidelines for more information