· Talk with a friend or relative you trust about what's going on. They may be a good source of support.
· Contact your local domestic violence program (1-800-650-6522) to find out about laws and community resources (i.e. shelters, counseling, legal assistance) before you need them. They can help you plan ways to stay safe.
· Ask your health care provider or a friend to take photographs of your injuries (i.e., bruises, scratches, black eyes, etc.) and make sure they are placed in your medical records, or in a safe place with a written description of what happened. This information along with copies of police reports, etc. will make it easier for you if you decide to take legal action in the future, such as getting a protection order, pressing criminal charges, or obtaining child custody.
· Arrange a signal with a neighbor to let them know when you need help (i.e., pulling down a particular window shade).
· Keep some money stored in a secret place so that you have access to it in an emergency. You can also pack a change of clothes (and person care items, an extra set of glasses, important legal papers, etc.,) for yourself and your children and ask a neighbor and/or friend to keep it, along with an extra set of keys, in case you need to leave quickly.
· Call 911 if you are in danger or need help.
· If you decide to leave, take important papers with you (i.e., birth certificates, passports, health insurance documents, photo ID/driver's license, immunization records, checkbook, medication, food stamps, Social Security cards, etc., for both you and your children.
· Identify a safe place to go in case you need to leave in a hurry.
· If you think your computer activities are being monitored, they probably are. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and internet activities. If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, use a safe computer such as a friend’s or a computer at a public library to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, or to ask for help.
· Disable GPS monitoring on your cell phone by enabling e-911 tracking only. Contact The Lighthouse for more information on cell phone safety.
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