- Pick a safe room/place with your child, preferably with a lock on the door and a phone that they will go to when the potential for violence arises. The first step of any plan is to get the children out of the room where the violence is occurring.
- Talk to your children about the importance of being safe and that is it is not the child’s responsibility to make sure their caregiver is safe.
- Teach your child how to call for help and it is important that they understand that they should not use a phone that is in view of the abuser. This puts them at risk. Talk to your children about using a neighbour’s phone or a pay phone if they are unable to use a phone at home. If you have a cell phone, teach your children how to use it.
- Teach your children how to contact police and ensure they know their full name and address. Rehearse what they would say.
- Choose and practice a signal or code word to let your children know to run to safety
- Practice and role-play safety plans with your children including what to do or where to go if something violent or scary happens.
- Practice with your children what they should do if the abuser shows up or calls.
- Develop a safety plan with your children for their visits, including cues they are in danger, escape plans and who or where and how to go for help.
- Arrange for transportation for the children to visit with the abuser so you do not have to have contact or meet in a police station parking lot to exchange children for visitation.
Arrange for age-appropriate counselling referral.