Some abusers actually become more dangerous when a protection order is filed because they believe they are losing control of their partner. Contact an advocate for assistance in developing a comprehensive safety plan that will cover as many different situations as possible (see resources). In addition, consider the following safety tips:
● Keep a cell phone with you at all times in case you need to call for help.
● Tell family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about the situation so they can alert you or call 911 if they see something suspicious and to provide help in an emergency.
● Change your routine, such as the route you take to work or the time you go to the gym.
● Relocate to a confidential address, change your locks, or install a home security system.
● Make a plan for what to do if the abuser shows up at your home, work, or another location. Identify escape routes.
● Talk to your children about what to do if they see the abuser.
● Make a plan for being as safe as possible when you come to court. Contact a Protection Order Advocate for information about how we can help (link to POAP contact info).
A protection order is only one part of your safety plan
Be sure to plan for how to stay as safe as possible whether or not the abuser can be served with the protection order and whether or not the abuser obeys the order. If you are in danger, call the police whether or not the order has been served.