All our services are free and confidential.

Plan for safety

There's a safe place to go and people who care.

Stay safe on the internet

  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You dont need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someones computer and Internet activities anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all the "footprints" of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since an abuser might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for innocuous activities, like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, or ask for help.
  • Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call a hotline instead. If you use email or IM, please use a safer computer and an account your abuser does not know about.
  • Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the Internet, the emails and instant messages you send, internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities.
  • It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center, at a trusted friend's house, or an Internet Cafe.
  • From Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Being prepared may mean the difference between life and death.

If You Are Still In An Abusive Situation
  • Leave before the abuse gets worse
  • Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and where there are always ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
  • Know where the nearest pay phone is located. Know your local battered women's shelter number. Don't be afraid to call the police.
  • Let family, friends, or neighbors you trust know about your situation. Arrange a signal so they'll know when you need emergency help.
  • Be sure your children know they should never get involved when you are being threatened or harmed by your partner. Teach them to get away from the abusive situation and find help.
  • Keep an extra set of keys to house and car, emergency telephone numbers, important papers (birth certificates, income verification, social security numbers, , medication for you and/or your children, child's favorite toy, etc., extra clothes packed in trash bag (not obvious)
  • If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
  • Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures, etc.
  • Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made if possible.
  • Contact your local battered women's shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.

Return to top of page


Plan Ahead for Leaving

If possible, collect all the following things to bring with you when leaving your home, whether going to friends, relatives, hotel, or shelter. You should take these items even if you are sure that you are not ready to make a permanent break with your abuser.

  • Money, savings and checking books, securities
  • Credit cards
  • Marriage license; birth certificate for self and children; immigration papers
  • Insurance cards and papers
  • Social security numbers for self, children, and spouse.
  • House deed or lease
  • Medication and prescriptions
  • I.D. cards; driver's license
  • Important phone numbers
  • Keys
  • Essential clothing
  • Favorite toy for each child
  • Picture of abuser
  • Car title and registration
  • Account numbers
  • Rent, mortgage, and utilities receipts

Return to top of page

After You Are Free of the Abusive Relationship

  • Change locks, install deadbolts.
  • Enroll in self-protection class.
  • Don't allow child to answer telephone or door.
  • Call 911 when your abuser is on the premises. Do not talk to him.
  • Discuss your situation with a friend or family member. Do not live in isolation.
  • Use an answering machine or Caller I.D. to screen incoming calls.
  • Avoid being alone in isolated locations.
  • Change your routine -- work hours, route to work or school, usual shopping places, etc.
  • Inform friends, neighbors, family, and employers that you have a restraining order in effect.
  • Alert school/day care/sitters that police should be called when there is a problem.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around your residence.
  • Ask police to drive by house frequently.
  • See this website ~ New Numbers For Domestic Violence Victims ~ for information about getting a new social security number.


The information on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Women Are Safe, Inc., does not discriminate in regard to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or marital status. All of our services are free. The program receives funding from United Way, from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and from the Gannett Foundation through The Tennessean. This program is partially funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Department of Justice.