Safety planning is essentially a plan you set out in advance to avoid any violence for you, or loved in the future. It’s a means that will help you (and other loved ones, including children) escape a violent situation, if there is a need to leave swiftly. This may include having items and documents stored in a bag, hidden in a specific area of the house, so you and your loved one can grab it, and go. It can help an individual set out strategies and prepare to end a relationship that is abusive, when they are ready. A safety plan is personalized, meaning not each and every one of them looks the same.
One part of safety planning is to have a backpack, ready to grab in case you need to make a quick exit.
Some things to remember in to place in this pack, include:
* Some clothes for you and your loved ones that are leaving, and hygiene essentials.
* Important documents, like:
o Birth certificates
o Immigration papers
o Social insurance numbers
o Health cards
* Create an extra set of house or car keys, that can be used for a quick exit, and place then in a secure area of the backpack; where you can easily grab them and go.
* Medications and prescriptions.
* If you have children, try to pack a special item or toy that may comfort them in the coming days.
Covering Your Technology Tracks
Knowledge is power, and technology can offer a powerful tool when it comes to finding out information on domestic and family abuse. However, in this day and age, searching for information on your computer or mobile device can also be easily tracked. Here are some tips to help cover technology tracks, so that a potential abuser cannot access or track research that has been conducted by a victim:
* If you concerned about an abuser monitoring your internet activities, try and access the Web in areas other then your home. Use the computers at a local library to find the information you are looking for, or perhaps a friend’s house.
* If that is not an option, there are ways you can ‘clear’ the internet and website history on your computer. It deals with the ‘Cache’ and your internet’s ‘History List’: two things that you want deleted, to erase any research you have conducted. Here are some tips as it relates to specific web browsers:
o Internet Explorer: Head to Tools, and select Internet Options. You want to then select the General tab, and under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files. Under History, select Clear History, and select the ‘OK’ button. o Google Chrome: Head to Tools, choose Clear Browsing Data. A separate page will come up, or a pop-up box. You then want to check off all the boxes of information to erase. Then, click the Clear Browsing Data button.
o Mozilla Firefox: Head to Tools, select Options, and then Privacy. You will then find the History Tab; select Clear Browsing History. Then find the Cookies tab, and select Clear Cookies. ***At the top, right-hand corner of this website, you will find an ‘Erase This Page’ button. Pressing it will remove you from the NSCVS’ site, and will erase the web address from your internet history.
Whether you are dealing with email, your computer’s log in, or cell phones: try and create passwords that are not easily identifiable with you. Try not to use birthdays, children’s names, or anything personal.
Mobile devices have technologies that make it easy for abusers to track their victim’s location and calls (i.e. GPS features, silent mode, or auto answer). Check the settings on your smartphone or cell. Think about turning these features off, or simply leaving your devices behind, if you plan on leaving a violent situation.
Social Service Agencies
Below are some social service supports that can benefit victims in this area.
Legislative and Court Services Department – Orillia Court Service Area http://www.barrie.ca/Living/City%20Services/Pages/Court-Services.aspx
Best Start Network of Simcoe County http://www.simcoe.ca/ChildrenandCommunityServices/Pages/best-start.aspx
Canadian Mental Health Association. Simcoe County Branch http://www.cmhastarttalking.ca/
Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County http://cfssc.ca/
Catulpa Community Support Services http://www.catulpa.on.ca/s/home.aspx
Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka http://www.cacsimcoemuskoka.ca/
Community Legal Clinic-Simcoe Haliburton Kawartha Lakes
Coral Co-Operative Housing firstname.lastname@example.org/
Dress for Success Orillia and Barrie https://orilliaandbarrie.dressforsuccess.org/
Endaad Native Non Profit Homes email@example.com
Gamblers Anonymous http://gamblersanonymousontario.org/
Green Haven Shelter for Women http://greenhavenshelter.com/
Huronia Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic
Information Orillia https://www.informationorillia.org/
Legal Aid Ontario – Orillia – Central District Office http://www.legalaid.on.ca/
Living for Jesus – Orillia – Soup Kitchen
1033 Mississaga St W, Orillia
Lighthouse Christian Ministries – Orillia – Soup Kitchen and Shelter http://www.orillialighthouse.ca/
New Path Youth and Family Services of Simcoe County http://newpath.ca/
Ontario. Ministry of Children and Youth Services http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/index.aspx
The Salvation Army – Orillia – Family Services
The Sharing Place Food Bank http://www.sharingplaceorillia.org/