Planning to leave?

If you are planning to leave, think about the following:

Keep children safe

  • Seek advice on how to talk to your child about domestic violence and how to include them into your safety plan. The Shelter can help with this.
  • Make up a code word with your children for when you need help.
  • Teach children how to dial 000 and practice what to say. “I need the Police - 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 Violence Restraining Order (VRO) 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 VRO 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 VRO 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 accidentally reveal your whereabouts and social circles without realising they have done so.
  • Keep a neighbour’s phone number to call in an emergency.

The Shelter currently participates in a Safe Connections Program and can issue clients with a new mobile, a new phone number and 30 days of free calls and text messages through Westnet.