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Safety Tips

The following are just some general tips. A detailed safety plan is important and can be found under Safety plan.

  • Do whatever you can to keep you and your children safe.
  • If possible, leave the home or call the police before any violence starts.
  • If you need to leave your home or workplace, know the best escape routes and practice your emergency exit plans. Teach your children an escape route.
  • Plan where you can go if you need to leave. These places should be safe locations where you and your children can go in a crisis.
  • If possible, create make a “safe area” in your home that you and your children can go to when you feel threatened and cannot leave. Avoid bathrooms, kitchens, garages, rooms containing weapons and rooms without access to the outside.
  • Keep your purse/ wallet nearby, if you need to leave.
  • Keep spare keys for your home and/or car with you in a safe place at all times.
  • Keep copies of important documents in a safe place.
  • Keep money in a safe place for emergencies.
  • Keep a small bag of clothes packed and hidden. Keep extra clothes available in case you have to leave.
  • If a problem happens when you’re driving home, you can use a cellular telephone to call for help, honk the horn continuously, drive to a well-lit public place that is open and heavily populated, or drive directly to the local police service/ OPP detachment for assistance.
  • If you use public transit, you can sit close to the front, by the driver and arrange for someone to meet you at the bus stop and walk you home. Once you have arrived at your home, call a relative or friend to let them know you arrived safely.
  • If possible, change your daily routines.
  • Tell trusted friends, neighbours or relatives about the abuse and create a code word or signal with them to call the police if you need help.
  • Ensure your children’s school and/or day care have a copy of all court orders, including restraining orders, custody and access orders and a picture of your partner.
  • Decide with your children on a code word that will let them know to go and get help. Let children know whose house they can run to.
  • Let children know where the cordless or cell phone is located. Teach children how to call for help and important phone numbers like 911.
  • If possible, change the locks, install an alarm system, add window bars and install outside lights.
  • Tell friends or neighbours if your partner no longer lives in the home. If you are in fear of your safety and your partner no longer lives in the home, tell your neighbour to phone the police if they see your partner around the home.
  • Make your boss/ co-workers aware of the situation. Show them a photo of your partner and ask them to call the police if they see him/her around your workplace. Ask your employer and co-worker not to give out information about you like your schedule, phone number, where you are etc...
  • Arrange for someone like security or a co-worker to walk you from the building when leaving work.
  • If possible, keep a charged cell phone with you at all times.
  • Please refer to Bill 168 to understand workplace violence and harassment: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_workplaceviolence.php