Keep Safe

Safety When Preparing To Leave


Have a safe place to stay.

Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your children or grandchildren.

Call a domestic violence victim service program.

Find out which services and shelters are available as options if you need them. Keep their address and phone number close at hand at all times.

Find someone you trust.

Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents and clothing with them in advance, so you can leave quickly, if necessary.

Open a savings account.

Put it in your name only, to increase your independence. Consider direct deposit from your paycheck or benefit check.

Review your safety plan.

Study and check your plans as often as possible in order to know the safest way to leave the abuser.


Safety In Your Own Home

(If the abuser does not live with you)

Upgrade your security system.

Change the locks on doors and windows as soon as possible. Consider a security service, window bars, better lighting, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

Have a safety plan.

Teach your children or grandchildren how to call the police or someone they can trust. Have a secret code word that you and your children agree on – to communicate trouble and for the people who are allowed to pick the children up.

Change your phone number.

Screen your calls if you have an answering machine or caller ID. Save all messages with threats or that violate any orders. Contact your local phone company about getting an unpublished number.

Talk to neighbours and landlord.

Inform them that the abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see the abuser near your home.

Get legal advice.

Find a lawyer knowledgeable about domestic violence to explore custody, visitation and divorce provisions that protect you and the children. Discuss getting a restraining order as an option. The abuser may be mandated to a batterers’ intervention program. Talk with the program to find out more about potential risks to you while your abuser participates. Additionally, contact your local domestic violence victim services program.

Safety During An Explosive Incident


Go to an area that has an exit.

Not a bathroom (near hard surfaces), kitchen (knives), or near weapons.

Stay in a room with a phone.

Call 911, a friend or a neighbour, if possible. Inform them if there are weapons in the home.

Know your escape route.

Practice how to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route.

Have a packed bag ready.

Keep it hidden in a handy place in order to leave quickly, or leave the bag elsewhere if the abuser searches your home.

Devise a code word or signal.

Tell your children, grandchildren or neighbours so you can communicate to them that you need the police.

Know where you’re going.

Plan where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don’t think you’ll need to.

Trust your judgment.

Consider anything that you feel will keep you safe and give you time to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it is best to flee, sometimes to placate the abuser – anything that works to protect yourself and the children.

Cover Your Tracks


Plan for your safety:

  • If you are thinking of leaving an abusive relationship, this can be a difficult time. There is a greater risk of violence when an intimate relationship is ending. You can get support and plan for you and your children’s safety.
  • Cover your Internet tracks. If you have surfed this and/or other websites you will have left a trail that allows others to see which websites you have visited.
  • Following these steps should clear your browser’s history and cache files; this does not guarantee, however, that information will not be left on your browser.


Cover Your Email Tracks:

  1. Be sure to delete any outgoing and incoming emails.
  2. Change your email password often at least once a month.
  3. Print all threatening and harassing emails to use as evidence of criminal activity.

Clearing History & Cache Files In:


Internet Explorer

  1. If you are using Internet Explorer 6 or an older version, click on Tools in the menu.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab under Temporary Internet Files, Click on Delete Files. This will clear your browser’s cache.
  4. Under History, Click on Clear History. This will clear the pages you’ve recently visited.
  5. If you are using Internet Explorer 7, click on Tools.
  6. In the General tab under Internet Options, click Delete under Browsing History and that will delete everything from the new dialogue window that appears.



  1. Open the Firefox browser and navigate to the Tools menu (for Windows users) or the Firefox menu (for Mac users).
  2. Click the Tools drop down menu and then click Clear Private Data.
  3. If you are using a newer version of Firefox, you can click Tools drop down menu and then click Clear Recent History.
  4. Press the “OK” or “Clear Now” button (Windows) or simply close the box (Mac). Your cache will now be clear.



  1. From the Safari menu, click Empty Cache.
  2. When asked “Are you sure you want to empty the cache?” click Empty.
  3. From the Safari menu, click Preferences.
  4. From the Security dialog box, click Bookmarks.
  5. Click Show Cookies.
  6. From the Cookie dialog box, click to choose a cookie, and click Remove. Alternatively, if you want to delete all cookies, click Remove All.
  7. Click Done.



  1. In the menu, click on Edit.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. In the left-hand column, Click on Navigator and then on the right side click on Clear History. This will clear the pages you’ve recently visited.
  4. Underneath that, click on Clear Location Bar. This will clear the list of sites in your browser’s location bar.
  5. Back in the left-hand column, click on Advanced. Click on Cache and then click on Clear Disk Cache. This will clear your browser’s cache.


AOL’s Browser

  1. In the menu, click on My AOL.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Click on the WWW icon and then under Temporary Internet Files click on Delete Files.
  4. Under History click Clear History.