How do you know if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence? What can you do to keep you and your children safe?
Safety Planning is one of the most important things that needs to happen if you or someone you know is subject to domestic or family violence.
Some of the following may help:
• If possible leave the situation
• Know the easiest escape routes from the house doors, windows etc.
• Plan where you will go in advance.
• Have a safe place to stay organised in advance.
• Identify a neighbour you can ask to call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your house. Develop some sort of a code or signal between you so that they will know you are in danger.
• Teach your children to phone 000 and practice what to say.
• Have the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Crisis Service number 02 6280 0900 memorised or in a place that is easy to find. This service provides refuge referral and 24 hour support.
• Call the Police as soon as it is safe to report the incident. The police can also support you to access safe accommodation for you and your children.
Children may also need a simple safety plan so they know what to do when domestic violence is occurring, this could include:
• Warning children to stay out of the adult conflicts.
• Decide ahead of time on a safe place the children can go when they feel unsafe.
• Teach children how to use police and other emergency phone numbers.
• Making a list of people the children can trust and talk to when they are feeling unsafe (neighbours, teachers, relatives, friends).
Beryl works on Ngunnawal Land