Maintain communication channels
Have a phone accessible at all times. Have important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends, schools, doctors, relatives, and the local shelter. If possible, have a backup phone in your emergency bag (see checklist below).
Keep a journal
Keep a journal of all violent incidents, making a note of the dates, events, and threats made if possible.
Talk to friends or neighbors that you trust.
Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises.
Prepare your children.
Teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
Plan safer spaces and escapes.
Determine the safest way you can get out of your home. Practice ways to get out. Determine the safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen, try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
Are there any weapons in the house?
Think about ways that you could get the abuser out of the house. If not, keep weapons such as guns and knives locked up and inaccessible.
Where can you go?
Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. You should consider four places you could go if you leave your home. You can call Odyssey House for emergency housing 780-532-2672.
Think of how you might leave.
Plan things that will take you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet, or going to the store.
Prepare an emergency bag.
Put together a bag of things you use every day (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy to get.
Talk to people that can help you if you leave.
Think about people who will keep an emergency bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Put away some money if possible and leave it with family or friends if need be. Make plans for your pets.
Take charge of your finances.
Open a bank account and, if possible, get a credit card in your name.
Consider the safety of your children.
Sometimes, taking your children with you may put your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself so you can protect your children.
Keep an extra set of keys.
During an explosion, an abuser may take away your car keys as a way to isolate you. Hide an extra set of car keys if possible, somewhere you can easily access but won't be randomly found.
Talk to Odyssey House
Speak to your local shelter. They will discuss what services and supports they can offer you and your children and help you form a safety plan.
What to Take
The below are only suggested items that may help you secure housing, employment, financial assistance and legal/police services if you are planning to leave your abuser. They are not required to stay at the shelter.
If you can do so safely, you’re encouraged to bring your clothing and cosmetics. We have essentials available for your use, but they may not fit your specific style or shape.
Important Papers / IDs for you and your children
AB Health Card
Social Insurance Card
Social Insurance Cares (Alberta Supports ID)
Copies of marriage license/divorce papers
Backup Phone with important contacts
Keys to car, house, work
Pictures/things that mean a lot to you
Items for your children (toys, special blankets etc.)