For technology safety considerations, scroll to the bottom.
Safety planning is an ongoing process, contact a nearby licensed domestic violence program to connect with an advocate who can help.
If you are in danger, please:
  • Call 911
  • Call your local hotline
  • Call a national hotline:
    • U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY at 1-800-787-3224
    • U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 automatically connect you to a local U.S. rape crisis program near your phone number’s area code.
    • U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474
  • Remember that “corded” phones are more private and less intercept-able than cordless phones or analog cell phones.
  • Be aware that you may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911.
  • Be aware that newer cell phones and cell phone plans often have location tracking (GPS) features that an abuser might try to use to learn where you are or where you have been.
  • Contact your local domestic violence program, shelter, or rape crisis center to learn about free cell phone donation programs.
  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid roads with no exits or rooms with weapons.
  • Practice how to get out of your home safely.
  • Keep purse/wallet and car keys readily available.
  • Memorize all important numbers.
  • Teach children to call 911 or other emergency numbers in your area.
  • Think about a safe place to go or safe person to contact.
  • Rehearse an escape plan. Practice it with your children.
  • Open a savings account if possible.

  • Change your phone number.
  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries, or incidents.
  • Change locks if batterer has key.
  • Avoid staying alone.
  • Plan how to get away if confronted by batterer.
  • Vary your routine.
  • Keep your protection order on or near you.
  • Give the protection order to police departments in communities where you live and work.
  • If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
  • Inform your employer, spiritual leader, close friends and relatives that you have a protection order and show them a picture of the abuser.
  • Ask for help screening calls at work.
  • Identification
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • School and vaccination records
  • Marriage license and/or divorce papers
  • Leases or deeds in both names
  • Money, checkbook, ATM card, charge card, bank books
  • House and car keys
  • Pay stubs or W-2 for both of you
  • Drivers License and registration
  • Medications
  • Welfare identification, work permits, green card, passport
  • Bank statements and charge account statements
  • Documentation of past incidents
  • Insurance policies

Technology Safety

  • If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since an abuser might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for normal activities, such as looking up the weather or recipes. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, or ask for help.
  • Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call a hotline instead. If you use email or IM, please use a safer computer and an account your abuser does not know about.
  • Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the Internet, the emails and instant messages you send, internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC), at a trusted friend’s house, or an Internet Café.
A person holding a sign that says I am advocating for youth in WV :)
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