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Domestic violence victims should have a safety plan

If you suffer from domestic violence and you're planning to leave your partner, then you should be cautious about when, where and how you tell them that things are over. It's important to have a safety plan in place before you raise your partner's suspicions.

If you haven't heard of a safety plan, it's a roadmap for how to keep yourself and your children safe from domestic violence.

Before you put your plan to leave in motion, you'll want to open up a bank account in your name. You shouldn't use your residential address to receive correspondence. Instead, use your work address or a post office (P.O.) box address instead.

You should make sure that you leave copies of important documents, money and a set of extra keys to your home or car with someone you can trust. If you find yourself needing to leave home quickly, then you may accidentally forget them.

If you're being abused by someone close to you, then you want to start thinking about who you know that might be willing to lend you their couch to sleep on. If this person has the means to lend you money, then you may find yourself able to use the money that they offer up to get your own place. This may be particularly important in helping you feel safe if your abuser knows the address of everyone that can offer you somewhere to stay.

Sometimes a window of opportunity may only exist for you to get away with what you have on hand. It's important that you always have the local California domestic violence shelter's number memorized to call for help if you need it. If your children are in danger, then you should call police right away. You'll then want to reach out to an attorney to learn how you can protect your family through orders of restriction.

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