If you are thinking of leaving, making a plan is an important first step.
A safety plan outlines what to do if you need to leave in a hurry. Keep reading to learn how to make one.
If you need to leave immediately:
- Call the police at 911 if you or your children are hurt or in danger. Tell the operator what is happening and follow their instructions.
- Put your safety plan into action. If you do not have a safety plan, call the Family Violence Info Line at 310.1818 for help.
Talk to Someone You Trust
This may be a family member, friend, co-worker or spiritual advisor. Share with them what is happening in your relationship and talk to them about how they can help you stay safe. Sharing will help you feel less alone and give you support in getting help to do what is best for you and your family.
Make a Safety Plan
1. Where will you go?
Make a list of safe places you can go. Ask trusted family, friends or neighbours if you can stay with them if you decide to leave your home. You can also go to an emergency shelter.
2. How will you get there?
Think about how you can get away quickly. Will you call someone to come get you? Or take a taxi or public transit? Do you have a bus pass or bus tickets?
3. What should you bring with you?
If you have time to collect belongings, try to take with you:
- health care cards
- birth certificates
- passports and immigration documents
- marriage certificate
- debit and credit cards, and other banking information
- medication and prescription eyeglasses
- insurance policies
- change of clothing
- items that will comfort your children
- irreplaceable mementos or items of emotional value
4. Do you need a protection order?
If you fear for your safety, you may be able to apply for a protection order from the court. These kinds of orders can require the person causing harm to stay away from you and your children. It can require the person to stay away from the family home, your work and other places you regularly go, and to stop communicating with you. An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a protection order for emergency situations. You can get an EPO 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Remember that a protection order is only valid and enforceable in Alberta. If you leave the province, the order will no longer apply. Read more about protection orders on the Orders Overview page.
5. Have you talked to your children?
If you think your children are mature enough to understand, talk to them about what they should do in an emergency. Doing so is important for their safety and yours. Think about creating code words to use with your children and trusted family and friends. Code words can help you safely communicate in an emergency.
6. Do you need help with money?
Do you have savings? Do you need emergency financial help? Read more on the Help with Finances page. And make sure you know who to contact if you need to protect your banking info – such as changing passwords or pins and removing other people’s access to your account.
7. Do you have children?
If you have children and decide to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to consider the laws about parenting. It is a good idea to get legal advice before leaving or as soon as you safely can after you do leave. Read more on the Children & Pets page.
Get More Help
For help making a safety plan, you can:
- call the police in an emergency (911)
- call the Family Violence Info Line (310.1818)
- call the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters hotline to speak with a shelter near you (1.866.331.3933)