SAFETY WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE
LEAVING CAN BE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME!
Have a safe place to stay. Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your children or grandchildren.
Call Women’s Aid Dundalk. Find out which services and refuge are available as options if you need them. Keep our HELPLINE number close at hand at all times.
Find someone you trust. Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents and clothing with them in advance, so you can leave quickly, if necessary.
Open a savings account. Put it in your name only, to increase your independence. Consider direct deposit from your paycheck or benefit check.
Review your safety plan. Study and check your plans as often as possible in order to know the safest way to leave the abuser.
Concerns about immigration status.
If you have any concerns about your immigration status you can contact:
The Immigrant Council of Ireland
2 St Andrews Street, Dublin 2
PHONE 01 674 0200
Women’s Aid Dundalk have an open door policy and work with women and children and domestic violence regardless of status.
IF YOU NEED TO LEAVE, TAKE WITH YOU…
•Marriage and Driver’s licenses
•Birth certificates – yours and family’s
•Money, chequebooks, credit cards, ATM cards, mortgage payment book, car title
•Social Welfare card, work permit, passport, visa
•Divorce, custody papers and restraining order
•Insurance papers and medical records
•Lease, rental agreement and/or house deed
•School and health records
•Keys – house, car, office, friend’s
•Medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc. needed by you and your family
•Personal items – address book, pictures, toys
•Copies of your spouse’s green card or social welfare card and all immigration related documents
SAFETY IN YOUR OWN HOME
(If the abuser does not live with you)
Upgrade your security system. Change the locks on doors and windows as soon as possible. Consider a house alarm, better lighting, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Have a safety plan. Teach your children or grandchildren how to call the Gardai or someone they can trust. Have a secret code word that you and your children agree on – to communicate trouble and for the people who are allowed to pick the children up.
Change your phone number. Screen your calls if you have an answering machine or caller ID. Save all messages with threats or that violate any orders. Contact your local phone company about getting an private number.
Talk to neighbors and landlord. Inform them that the abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the Gardai if they see the abuser near your home.
Get legal advice. Find a legal adviser knowledgeable about domestic violence to explore custody, visitation and divorce provisions that protect you and the children. Discuss getting a court order as an option.
SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Get support. Call Women’s Aid Dundalk helpline and/or attend our support service for one to one support . Do what is safe for you. If you have to communicate with the abuser, arrange to do so in the way that makes you feel safe whether by phone, mail or in the company of another person.
SAFETY AND YOUR CHILDREN
Tell schools and childcare. Let them know who has permission to pick up the children. Discuss with them other special provisions to protect you and your children.
Exchange children in a safe place. Find a safe place to exchange the children for access.
YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE SAFE!
SAFETY ON THE JOB
Tell somebody. Decide whom at work you might wish to inform of your situation.
Screen your calls. Arrange to have someone screen and log your telephone calls if possible.
Make a safety plan. Create a safety plan for when you enter and leave your work place. Consider asking someone to escort you to your vehicle or other transportation.
If you and the abuser work at the same place, discuss with your supervisor your options regarding scheduling, safety precautions, employee/family benefits.