Path of Strength

Keep in mind that violent incidents occur far more frequently around the time of separation.  Keeping yourself safe when you are leaving is very important.  Consider when creating a safety plan to make photocopies of items listed below and keeping copies in a safe place. Also keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Don’t tell the abuser that you are considering leaving or where you are going.
  • Contact a shelter about creating an individual safety plan for leaving.
  • Hide extra keys, money, medication in safe place that is not your home.
  • personal identification for you and your children (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, car registration, SIN card, passport, health card, immigration papers, work permits);
  • medication; vaccination records
  • cheque book, credit cards, ATM cards, bank records, inome tax papers;
  • car/house/safety deposit box keys;
  • copies of all court orders (ex. restraining orders, peace bonds, custody and access agreement, social assistance verification, etc);
  • lease/rental agreements
  • small valuable objects such as  jewelry and other small sentimental items;
  • personal laptop and flash drives, important disks etc.';
  • address book or contact info;
  • copies of your veterinarian bills and animal licenses; and
  • picture of the abuser and evidence of abuse (e.g., a journal).;
  • school and daycare records;
  • picture of spouse or partner;
  • phone charger;
  • childrens "must have" toys or comforts;
  • pet carrier/ dog leash;

Before you leave:

  • Open a bank account in ONLY your name
  • Put aside some ‘quick cash’ for cab fares, bus fares, and pay phones
  • Map out your home for emergency exits
  • Keep some clothes/hygiene products at a friend's house to ensure you have stuff to leave to
  • Put gas in your car (full tank) and BACK IN to the driveway for a quick escape
  • Keep your car keys always on you (spare key as well)
  • Take photos of abuse (keep a record to show a lawyer)
  • Always have a plan B if your partner gets suspicious of where you are leaving too
  • Map out the local women's shelters in your area just in case

After the escape (going to work):

  • Let someone know you are on your way
  • Carry your keys in your hand
  • Try for a parking spot close to the doors in a well-lit area
  • ALWAYS CHECK THE BACKSEAT
  • If you are walking, take a route that is populated
  • Drive a different way home, so your partner doesn’t know where to find you
  • ALWAYS SCAN THE PARKING LOT