After You Leave
Your safety plan should always include ways to ensure your continued safety after leaving an abusive relationship. Here are some precautions to consider after you leave:
- Change your locks and phone number if possible.
- If possible, change your work hours and the route you take to get there.
- Alert school authorities of the situation. If there is a protection order in place, provide a copy to the school. Designate who is and is not allowed to pick your children up from school. If possible, change the route taken to transport children to school; if necessary, consider changing your children’s schools.
- If you have a protection order, keep a certified copy of it with you at all times, and inform friends, neighbors and employers that you have a protection order in effect. If you move to a new state, register your protection order with the courts in your new state.
- Consider renting a post office box or using a trusted friend’s address for your mail (remember that addresses are used for restraining orders and police reports — be careful who you give your address and phone number to). Your state may have an address confidentiality program to protect your privacy after you leave. Contact an advocate to see if your state has this program.
- Reschedule appointments that your partner might be aware of.
- If possible and necessary, use different stores and frequent different social spots.
- Alert neighbors and work colleagues about how and when to seek help if they feel you may be in danger (if you feel comfortable doing so). Be clear about who you do or do not want them to contact, including law enforcement.
- Tell people who take care of your children (if you are comfortable doing so) or transport them to/from school and activities. Explain your situation and provide them with a copy of your restraining order if you have one.