|Crisis Line: 419-228-4357 Toll Free: 877-228-4357 No User ID|
Safety at Home After Leaving
Safety at Home After Leaving
- Seek a protection order in court. Make extra copies of the order and keep them in safe places. Ask the court or your lawyer to attach a copy of the full faith and credit provision of the Violence Against Women Act to each protection order. Keep the protective order on your person at all times.
- Ask for periodic police drive-bys.
- Be alert to any suspicious persons. Don’t ignore “funny feelings”. If a noise or just the atmosphere makes the hair on the back of your neck prickle, be especially cautious. Trust your intuition.
- If you live in an apartment or condominium with an on-site manager, door attendant, or valet, give him or her a picture or description of the suspect.
- If you are moving into a new apartment or condominium, check security features carefully and inquire about past problems. An upper floor apartment is considered safer. Insist that all windows and doors have sturdy locks.
- You can place your real estate in the name of a trust, and put your utilities and tax identification in the name of the trust. Lawyers who deal in real property matters can take care of this simple procedure for a low fee.
- File for confidential voter status or register with a private mailing address.
- Ask anyone who knocks at the door to identify him or herself before you open the door. Always ask service people, delivery workers, sales-people, charity collectors, and even police for identification. Install wide-angle viewers on main entries.
- Install a porch light at a height that makes it hard to reach. Put in other outside lighting as well. Trim and illuminate shrubbery.
- Make sure you have dead bolts on all outside doors. If you cannot account for all the keys, get the locks changed. Have only the spare keys you absolutely need, and keep them secure. Make sure windows have sturdy locks. Put a dowel rod in all sliding glass doors and windows. Install locks on outside gates. Keep doors and windows in other rooms locked even when you are at home.
- Keep fire extinguishers and smoke detectors handy in all main areas and keep them in good working order.
- Get an automatic timer for your lights. Use it when you are going out for the evening, not just for extended absences.
- Keep the garage door locked at all times. If possible, get an electric door lock and opener. Always park in a secured garage if available. house and garage, with spare batteries nearby.
- Consider installing a loud outside alarm bell that can be activated in several places inside the house.
- Keep your fuse box locked. Keep flashlights and battery lanterns handy in the
- Get a dog. A family dog is one of the least expensive and most effective alarm systems. Some breeds are considered better watchdogs, but any dog will bark at an intruder.
- Remove sharp objects and weapons from sight. If there are firearms in the house, all adults should know how to use them. Store ammunition in a separate but nearby location. Be sure any guns or other weapons are stored out of the reach of children and locked.
- Get an unlisted telephone number. Get a caller identification box and an answering machine. Use the block code when making telephone calls. Use an answering machine or call trace when receiving calls to collect evidence of harassment or protection order violations. With these tools, you never need to pick up the phone without knowing the caller’s identify.
- Tape emergency numbers to all telephones.
- Make sure all members of your household trade information about suspicious calls or activity. If odd calls or activity continues, notify a local law enforcement agency. Ask about “panic buttons” or other special protections that they may have.
- Report any direct threats against a member of your household to a law enforcement agency. Never dismiss a threat as just talk. Listen carefully, record it if possible, or write it down so you recall exactly what was said. If anyone else witnessed the threat, tell the police. Police officers say they would rather answer one hundred calls that turn out to be nothing than one that involves a homicide.
- Make a safe evacuation plan, make sure all household members know about it, and practice it occasionally.
- Document and report any instances of harassment. Note the date and time of any telephone calls. Get statements from any witnesses. Keep mail, correspondence or any notes delivered to you. If the stalker shows up, take pictures, use a video camera, and call the police every time.
- If anything suspicious shows up, such as a box or package that you did not order or expect, do not move it. Call the police.
- Know the whereabouts of family members at all times. Children should be accompanied to school or bus stops. Be sure children are taught basic safety rules, such as never to take rides or gifts from strangers.
- Thoroughly check out anyone employed to work in your home before you hire the person. Make sure he or she understands all security rules. Have a strict policy that the employee does not discuss family business or schedules with anyone.
- Keep trusted friends and neighbors informed about what’s going on. Give them a photo or description of the suspected stalker and his/her vehicle. Be sure to tell them if you are going away on any trips.
- Keep in touch with neighbors. Ask them to call you if they notice suspicious vehicles or people, especially when you aren’t home. Show neighbors a picture of the batterer and/or the batterer’s vehicle so they can screen visitors and call the police if necessary. Have neighbors pick up newspapers or have delivery suspended while you’re gone.
- Be careful who knows where you live. Remove your home address from personal checks and business cards. Use your work address or get a private mailbox service (not a U.S. Postal Service box, as this can be traced). Have all personal mail sent there. Make this your official address. File for a change of address card with the post office listing this as your new address. Send cards with the new address to creditors, business associates, and request they remove the old address from their personal address books, files, and directories.
- Destroy all your discarded mail. Do not put discarded mail in your home trashcan or bags. The stalker can easily sort through your trash.
- Form and/or join a neighborhood watch group. Your local police department can help you set up such a group and provide training and support.
- Obtain a private or unlisted telephone number, and be selective about revealing a new address. Batterers have located victims through friends, relatives, co-workers, court or service documents, the post office, and private investigators.
- Be aware that motor vehicle records, including addresses, may be available to the public. Most Departments of Motor Vehicles will permit drivers to use a number other than their social security number for identification purposes and will keep information confidential upon request.
- Alter routines – change transportation routes or timing (including picking up children from school).
- Trade cars with a friend or relative so a batterer cannot locate your vehicle.
- Enroll in a reliable self-defense course and practice these skills.
- Do not take walks alone.
- Seek professional counseling or attend victim/survivor support groups. Contact your local domestic violence services for information. Discuss your fears and exchange ideas with people you trust.
For further information please contact the Residential Service Program Coordinator at
419-228-4357 or 877-228-4357
The mission of Crossroads Crisis Center is to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence by providing shelter, education, advocacy, and empowerment to individuals and communities.
Make A Donation
|Please make a donation to the Crossroads Crisis Center and help our effort to provide ongoing support and healing to survivors of domestic violence.|