SAFETY IN YOUR NEW HOME
SAFETY ONCE THE ABUSER HAS MOVED OUT
If you have moved to a new home or the abuser has moved out of the home you shared, ensuring your safety is still very important. Extra security can be costly, but worth the expense if you can afford it.
If and when it is financially possible:
- Change the locks on your doors and windows as soon as possible. If you can only afford one option, this would be the one.
- A guard dog is also a good option if affordability is an issue.
- Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors.
- Secure your home with an alarm system, additional locks, motion sensors, hidden cameras as well as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Safety ladders for second floor windows.
Additional protective measures:
- If you have no children or any other legal ties to the abuser, do not allow or establish any contact for any reason. If you have children or legal ties to the abuser, limit any contact to those matters only.
- Consider filing for a protective order, if you have not done so. You should speak to a victim advocate about this beforehand. File it with your local police department and give a copy to your children’s teachers, babysitters or anyone who provides care for your children. Give a copy to your employer and an administrator at your college. Keep a copy on your person and in your car.
- Do not meet with the abuser alone for any reason. If there are children in common and visitation is court ordered, make arrangements for a third party to transport the children to and from visitation. If this is not an option, choose a public meeting place to exchange the children, such as a police station. Any discussion should be limited to children’s matters only.
- Tell family, friends and neighbors the abuser is not allowed on your property. Tell them to call the police if they see him/her near your home or your children.
- Save any messages, emails and/or letters from the abuser. Report it immediately, especially if they are in violation of a protective order.
- Be aware of your surroundings, always.
- Arm yourself with pepper-spray, self defense skills or some other form of protection you are comfortable with. If you choose to purchase a weapon, make sure you are trained to use it and trained in weapon safety. Make sure the weapon will be easily accessible to you but not to your children or any intruders.
- Take a different route to work/school/running errands. Do not frequent the places you are known to go. Do not go to places your abuser is known to frequent.
- Consider counseling for yourself and your children.
Many cases of domestic violence also include stalking. Read about stalking and stalking victim safety here.
We encourage victims to develop a safety plan with the assistance of a trained victim advocate. The safety measures on this site are not intended to be a guarantee of safety or a substitute for professional or legal counsel.
Your local coalition may also have some additional information on protecting yourself and your identity. The following organizations can also assist you:
The National Domestic Violence Helpline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)