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Look around your home. Think about the following:

  • How would you get out quickly? The back door? Fire escape? Other exits? Can you keep a "fire ladder," or clothesline, or sheets to tie together to escape from upstairs?
  • If an argument starts or gets worse, can you move toward a door leading outside or a space with fewer potential weapons? You can be trapped more easily in rooms with only one door, such as the bathroom. Kitchens and garages contain many things to use as weapons. Can you put kitchen knives or other potential weapons in places where they can't be easily reached and used to hurt you?
  • Are there guns in your home? Can they be stored in a safer place or kept separate from their ammunition?
  • Can you program emergency numbers (911, a neighbor) into your phone in case you need them fast?
  • Are there neighbors you can tell about the potential for violence? Can you ask them to call the police if they sense there is trouble at your house? Or can you set up a special emergency code to let them know you need help?

If you have children, can you teach them:

  • How to call the police in an emergency?
  • How to get out of the house quickly?
  • To go to a neighbor or local business to get help in an emergency?
  • An emergency code word that means they need to get help for you, but without your abuser knowing about it?

Make sure your children know their address and phone number and how to call you if they feel they're in danger.