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Important Papers
Keep all of your important papers (or copies of them) together in an easily accessed location: bank account numbers, copy of lease, copy of protective/stalking order, birth certificate (yours/children), social security number,medical information.
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"If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn't start with race; I wouldn't start with blackness; I wouldn't start with gender; I wouldn't start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I'm a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love." -bell hooks
Safety Planning

Volatile situations can erupt quickly in relationships that involve domestic violence. You need to have a plan worked out ahead of time that allows you to leave quickly with all the necessary documents you might need if you decide not to return. The following is a list of items/steps to take in safety planning.

Safety Signal to alert neighbors to call the police..an outside light turned on, curtains drawn in a specified window, or other signal readily available.

Bag packed with these items:

*Change of clothes for you and your children
* List of phone numbers of friends, relatives, doctors, lawyers
* Money with change for a pay phone
* Cell phone (extra one if available to make 911 call)
* Extra keys to your house and car
* Emergency medicines
* Important papers; bank account numbers, copy of lease, copy of Protective Order, birth certificates, social security card/numbers for yourself, children, and partner, marriage certificate, divorce papers.
*TANF/SSI/Medicaid cards

Avoid long distance call if possible since they can be traced.

Advise family, friends, employer, school system, court, welfare office not to give out any information.

Remember, you are not alone. You cannot stop an abuser. The abuser must seek professional help. Abuse is about power and control over an intimate partner. Physical abuse, verbal attacks, and isolation from others are a few ways abusers keep victims under their control.

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