Call 911 if
you are in danger or need help.
Talk to a friend or relative you trust for moral support.
Contact your local domestic violence assistance program or the National
Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233. Domestic violence programs
can assist you in finding out about laws, shelters, counseling and
If your friends or relatives are aware of your situation, set up signal
code words either by phone or alternative methods that informs them
that the situation at home is violent.
If you have children, notify the school of any possible threats and/or
the current custody situation. Make sure the school knows who can and
cannot pick up the children and/or receive information about them or
If you plan on leaving the home, make sure you have a plan. Keep an
emergency bag with someone you trust that contains a change of clothes
for yourself and for your children, an extra set of keys, copies of
important documents and emergency cash. Take important papers and documents
of yourself and of your children with you. Important papers may include:
identification cards, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage
license, checkbooks, property titles, credit cards, bank statements,
pay check stubs (yours and your spouse's). Also, take with you
documentation of past abuse (i.e. photos, police reports, medical records,
What you can do if your spouse threatens to take your children away:
Immediately obtain a custody order. The order can include an order
to prohibit your spouse from taking the children from the county or
country in which you live.
Give a copy of the custody order to the children's schools and
let them know not to release the children to anyone but you or someone
Make sure you keep recent photos, passports, and birth certificates
of the children. Keep a list of addresses and phone numbers of your
spouse's friends and relatives whether they are local or in his
country of origin.