Dial 000 and ask for the Police if you or your children are in immediate danger.
While in a Relationship
While in a relationship where there is domestic and family violence, there are a number of things a woman can do to increase her safety:
- Know emergency contact numbers such as the Police on 000 or the DV line on 1800 656 463 (1800 numbers don’t show up on phone bills but STD numbers do)
- Consider escape routes from different rooms in the home
- Know where all the important paperwork is in the home so it can be found easily if needed in a hurry;
- Hide a change of clothing for herself and her children. Include all medications
- Set up a code word with her children and friends. This code word is an alert to call for help
- Keep an extra key to the house and car
- Talk to someone who can be trusted and tell them of her circumstances
Planning to Leave the Relationship
Many women prefer to plan when leaving a violent relationship. When there is violence in a relationship, there may be a limited window of opportunity in which a woman can leave safely. Therefore, it is important to be well prepared when the opportunity arises.
- Some steps a woman can take in preparation of leaving are:
- Identifying a safe place to go;
- Identifying available support services;
- Collecting all important paperwork, such as birth and marriage certificates, immigration papers, deeds, etc. and keeping these documents in a safe place, such as a friend’s house or another safe location outside of the home;
- Opening a bank account in her own name and ideally, having some cash available;
- Notifying her children’s school or Day Care Centre of her intentions to leave and requesting this information remain confidential;
- Seeking legal advice;
- Contacting Centrelink. It is possible to apply for income support prior to leaving and have this on hold until after leaving. It may also be possible to access a crisis payment from Centrelink in the first week after leaving.
Leaving a relationship of domestic and family violence does not always mean the violence will stop. If a woman has not gone to stay in a safe location such as a refuge, extra safety precautions may need to be taken.
A woman can take the following safety precautions:
- Contacting the local Police station and letting them know her situation
- Ensuring her phone numbers are silent and that she always carries a mobile phone
- Advising the children’s school or day care centre of the situation and providing them with relevant documentation, e.g. Apprehended Violence Order, Family Court Orders, etc.
- Having a secure password for Centrelink and for all financial and utilities accounts.
Below are some helpful links regarding technology safety:
- eSafetywomen is an Australian Government resource designed to empower women to take control of their online experiences.
- DVRCV is a Victorian site with a helpful page on Technology Safety