Custody Preparation for Moms

A support site provided by those that have been through the process.



Suggested Domestic Violence Safety Plan

Pack a bag and have it ready. Keep it hidden but make it easy to grab quickly.  The following is a general list of things women should take with them when they leave an abusive situation.  Some items can also be stored at a trusted friend or family members home in advance of a planned exit.

>  Identification-- birth certificates for yourself and your children, drivers license or other  photo ID, green card, work permit, social security card, passport(s), etc.

>  Health records--school and vaccination records.

>  Money- checkbook, ATM card, cash, credit cards, change for telephone calls (keep change on your person at ALL times. If  a telephone credit card is used, the following month the bill will tell the batterer who and where you called. Keep this information confidential by using a prepaid phone card, using a friend's telephone card, calling collect, or using change)

>  Keys- home, work, car.  Consider leaving another set with a trusted friend or relative.

>  Medication for you and your children.

>  Prescription eye wear:  glasses, contact lenses

>  Divorce/custody papers/orders.

>  Protective order.

>  Lease or rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book.

>  Insurance papers:  medical/health, etc.

>  Jewelry or other small items of value you can sell.

>  Address book/needed phone numbers

>  Clothes for you and your children--winter gear, if applicable

>  Children's comfort items--teddy bear, pacifiers, lovies

>  Sentimental items- irreplaceable photographs, small heirlooms or momentos

Tell your neighbors about your abuse and ask them to call the police when they hear a disturbance.

Teach your children to use the telephone to call the police and the fire department

Learn the number for your local domestic violence shelter hotline

Have a code word to use with your kids, family and friends. Upon hearing this word or phrase, they will know to call the police and get you help.

Know where you are going to go, if you ever have to leave.  Learn the location of your local domestic violence shelter if that choice becomes necessary.

Use your instincts.  Fear is a innate gift.  Use it.  Victims have the most knowledge about their abuser.  Move beyond denial and tap into your instinct, intuition and judgment.  Violence is often predictable.

Increase your independence by opening a savings or checking account in your name only and begin depositing whatever you can safely afford there.

Rehearse your safety plan and practice it with your children.

Review your safety plan with a friend, therapist or advocate from time to time

You have the right to protect yourself and your kids.  Protect yourself and your children until you are all out of danger.


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