The following are protective actions you may wish to consider if you are living with or planning to leave a residence you share with an abusive partner. In this situation, it may not be safe to inform your partner of your plans of leaving the residence. Even if you are not planning to leave the relationship, it is important to review a safety plan in case the violence and/or abuse escalates and you need to leave quickly.
When you leave a partner that is abusive, it is important to take certain items with you. Keeping them all together in one location makes it much easier if you need to leave in a hurry.
- Do not tell the abuser you are going to leave
- Do not attempt to leave when the abuser is at home or sleeping
- If possible, arrange a safe place to stay that is unknown to the abuser
- If possible, take the children with you. If you try to pick up the children later, the police cannot help you unless you have a valid court order
- Inform someone you trust of your intention to leave and of your plan
It is highly recommended that you make copies of all important documents and keep them in a safe place outside of your home, for example at a friend or family member’s home.
- Social Insurance card / Social Insurance number
- Health cards
- Immigration papers
- Divorce/separation papers
- Medical records
- Chequebook/bank/credit cards
- Protection order papers
- School records
- Lease/mortgage insurance
- Birth certificate and children’s birth certificates
- Make a copy of your keys (house/car/office)