In an abusive relationship?
You may want to:Teach your children how to call 911.Create a code word so they know when you need help.Keep important phone numbers for law enforcement, shelter, friends, and familyKnow the locations of nearby safe places.Tell friends or neighbors about the abuse and ask them to call the police if they hear violent noises.Make an escape plan for your home and at work.Invest in a cell phone.Open a credit card or bank account in your name only
Considering Leaving?Identify 2 different places you could go.Think about people who could help you. Could they loan you money or keep your belongings?Keep a bag of items you will need if you leave. Leave the bag at work or with a friend.Consider what you should do with your children and pets. Would they be safer with you or not?Think of excuses to leave the house, such as walking the dog, going to the grocery store, or taking out the trash.Make extra copies of the house and car keys.Review your safety plan often and practice it step by step.
Already Left?Continue to monitor your safety.Consider filing for an Order of Protection or Restraining Order. If you get one, give copies to your boss and children’s teachers. ALWAYS keep it with you.Change the locks.Give your friends and neighbors a picture of your abuser.Ask your friends and neighbors to call the police if they see your abuser near you or your home.Tell your children’s caretakers who is allowed to pick up the children.Ask a coworker to screen your calls.Use different stores and driving routes than you previously used.Find a support group or counselor.Find a safe way to communicate with your abuser, if you must.
Things to Take With You
Your safety and your children’s safety is MOST IMPORTANT!
If you can, take:Money and credit cardsBirth certificates and driver’s licenseSocial Security and benefit cardsKeys to car, house, and workExtra clothesMedicineSchool and medical recordsBank statements and unpaid billsInsurance papers and car registrationAddress bookSpecial toys for your children
Family Cases Handled:
- Physical Abuse Divorce
- Custody and Visitation
- Orders of Protection
- Other Family Court Matters
Other Legal Representation
- Consumer & Bankruptcy
- Federal Income Tax
- Migrant Farm Workers
- Public Benefits
Additional information may be found at:
South Carolina’s guide to free legal resources
This brochure was prepared by South Carolina Legal Services and is provided as a public service.
Copyright retained by South Carolina Legal Services
Printed April 2010