Safety Plan for After You Leave
Our staff can support you with everything that is listed here and also with contacting other agencies or services. You don’t have to enter a Safe House in order to access our services – in fact, most women don’t.
If you have left your relationship, here are some things that other women have told us have helped to them keep safe.
- Talk to your lawyer or to one of our Family Support Workers about getting a Protection Order, Tenancy or Occupation Order (so that you can stay in your house) and sorting out custody and access arrangements.
- Make a list of any emergency numbers you may need - Police; Aviva; doctor; lawyer; schools; friends and whanau/family. Keep these with you. In an emergency always call 111
- If possible, get a cell phone and keep this with you. WINZ may be able to help you get a phone. Even a pre-pay cell phone with no money on it can be used to call Emergency 111.
- If you haven't got a home phone, we can help you get a free one that can be used only for 111 calls.
- Make the area around your home safer: change the locks, get outside lights, repair damaged windows, trim underneath bushes and trees so you can see if anyone is hiding in them, etc. Talk to our Shine safe@home Co-ordinator to see if you are eligible for this service
- If you feel comfortable doing so, tell all your neighbours and friends that you have a Protection Order and/or that the person who has abused you is not allowed to come to your house. Ask them to ring the Police if they see anything suspicious. You could set up a code that will tell the neighbours you are in trouble e.g. ringing, hanging up, ringing again.
- Use your own bank account.
- Have your address and phone number removed from public access - e.g. get a confidential number (Telecom won't give it out); go on the unpublished Electoral Roll; get your details removed from any council register; contact VTNZ to ensure your licence plate is unsearchable; and remind WINZ; your employer; landlord; schools; doctor etc to keep your details strictly confidential.
- Hide your phone number from someone's Caller Display:
- if you're dialling from a Telecom or Vodafone phone or mobile: dial 0197 before dialling their phone number
- if you're dialling from a TelstraClear phone: dial *32 before dialling their phone number
- Use a third party when dealing with the person who has abused you (e.g. when forwarding on mail; picking up or dropping off the children; or returning their property). Always take someone with you if you cannot avoid seeing the person who perpetrated the abuse.
- Develop a plan for yourself and the children about what to do in any situation -home, school, shops etc - if you feel threatened. Role play and practice the plan so you remember it.
- Help your children understand what is going on. They might not need to know the details, but they do need to feel reassured.
- Ask for support from friends and whanau/family.