When You Are Still in a Relationship
Try to maintain contact with a person you trust and establish a keyword with her/him, only for emergency situations.
Park your car with the front facing the street, in case you need to escape. It will be easier.
Discuss a safety plan with your children if they are with you and think about who can take care of them if you need to leave for a period of time.
Try to communicate with your support system by giving them an update on your situation when the abuser isn’t around.
Have 911 as a contact that you can quickly access.
Trust your judgment or intuition during the incident. Call for help when you can.
Try to stay in an area where you
have access to an exit and know your escape routes.
Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, or where weapons may be kept.
Try to keep as much distance between you and the abuser as possible.
In a violent incident: protect your head and neck as best you can. If you were strangled/choked or hit your head and can’t go to the hospital, check your body and pay attention to changes in breathing, vision or hearing, as well as other symptoms like dizziness, frequent headaches, urination and defecation. If these symptoms persist or get worse, it is important for you to get medical help.
If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target. Dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
Do not wear long scarves or jewelry around your neck in the event your partner tries to strangle you.
If you are pregnant, pay even more attention to your health and the symptoms you may be experiencing.
Find out what agencies are being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in your area - find out if they are open, operating under modified schedules, offering limited services, etc.
Call hotline numbers or domestic violence programs to find out how the courts and police departments can help. In an emergency call 911 - situations can change very quickly.
Identify any neighbors that can help you.
Plan a safe place that you can go to - a family member/friend’s house or shelter.
Identify a time or day that you can leave without your abuser knowing.
Remember to gather identifying documents (birth certificates, social security cards, immigration paperwork, driver's licenses) for yourself and any children.
Switch up your routine or routes to and from work, school, home, daycare, etc to ensure your abuser isn’t following you.
Try to maintain social connections online or over the phone with people who can support you.
Keep the restraining order with you at all times. Tell family members, friends, or neighbors that you have it.
Call your local police department to report and request a response to
Call Essex County Family Justice Center for help with safety planning and support. 973-230-7229
Call hotlines or domestic violence programs because they may have remote counseling at this time.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, this time can feel very uncertain and isolating. Taking the time for your health and well-being may help you to feel more safe and secure.
Delete any information you have on your cell phone that can be suspicious to your abuser.
Keep your cell phone in a safe place and at all times, this is your best form of communication.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers a step by step Interactive Safety Plan