I want to end my relationship: SAFETY FIRST
Before an episode of domestic violence
Keep a suitcase or bag where you can access it quickly and easily. As far as possible, put the following items in it:
- clothes for you and your children
- a spare set of keys to your apartment or house, and to your car;
- identity documents (yours and your children's): social insurance cards, health insurance, birth certificates, passports;
- driver's license, proof of registration;
- your bankbooks, cheques, credit cards, mortgage documents or lease, marriage contract;
- your address book;
- a photo of your spouse or ex-spouse to help identify him or her;
- a list of items you can come back for later.
Make sure your purse, wallet, identity papers, keys and other emergency items (your medication, your children's medication, etc.) are in a place that's easy and quick for you to get to.
Arrange your own transportation.
Talk to people you trust about your situation. Agree with them on a password that you can use to warn them that you are in danger and to contact the police immediately.
Teach your children to dial 911 in an emergency.
Teach them not to intervene during an episode of domestic violence and to take refuge in a safe place in the house or with neighbors.
Plan a place (family, friends, shelter) where you can take refuge in an emergency.
Establish a link with a shelter by sharing what you're going through. Contact them at any time for immediate help and support. To find a shelter, visit the Fédération's website.
During an episode of domestic violence
If the situation becomes dangerous and it's possible for you to do so, call 911.
Otherwise, trust your instincts and let your "inner voice" guide you. You know your partner better than anyone, and you know how to deal with him or her.
Try to ease the tension.
Try to stay calm and reassure the children.
Ask them to retreat to their room or, if possible, to a neighbor's house.
Avoid finding yourself in a dead-end space.
Remember to use your password to signal that you are in danger if someone you trust contacts you by phone, at the door or via the Internet.
As soon as you can, leave the premises with the children under the pretext of a doctor's or other appointment.
Go to a safe place or contact a shelter to get help quickly.
Remember, the priority is to protect your life and that of your children.
Post-separation violence is a very real phenomenon that must be taken into account to ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence. In the event of a separation, or if you are separated and fear your partner, here are a few ways to protect yourself:
Make sure you're never alone in the presence of your partner; choose public places to meet.
Plan to be in a safe place to tell your partner about your separation. The news is likely to have an impact on his violent behavior.
If possible, carry a cell phone with you at all times, ready to use.
Avoid places you used to frequent together; change your lifestyle.
Secure your home: doors, windows, locks, entrance lighting.
Keep a telephone on the bedside table at night for emergency use.
See a legal advisor to legalize child custody and find out your rights.
If you can't convince your spouse or "ex" to leave you in peace, ask a lawyer for help in obtaining a formal notice asking him or her to stop bothering you.
If you are the victim of harassment, threats, assaults and/or harassing calls, you can file a complaint with the police.
If you are frightened and fear for your safety or that of your children, contact us.
Call us at 1-800-461-1842
for an individualized security plan for your needs.