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Times of Crisis

Whether or not you feel able to leave an
abuser, there are things you can do to make yourself and your family



If you are at home & you are
being threatened or attacked:

  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find
    weapons, like knives, there)
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces
    where the abuser can trap you
  • Get to a room with a door or window to escape
  • Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock
    the abuser outside if you can
  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away
    for help; get the dispatcher's name
  • Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for
  • If a police officer comes, tell him/her what
    happened; get his/her name & badge number
  • Get medical help if you are hurt
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries
  • Call a domestic violence program or shelter such as R.E.A.C.H. of Macon                                                                                ask them to help you make a safety plan (<<<Click to make your own safety plan)




  •  Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers
  • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside;
    if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times
  • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on
    your door; get locks on the windows
  • Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to
    your children
  • Think about where you would go if you need to
  • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see
    the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for
    example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is

  • Pack a bag with important things you'd need if you
    had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative
    you trust
  • Include cash, car keys & important information
    such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical records &
    medicines, immigration papers
  • Get an unlisted phone number
  • Block caller ID
  • Use an answering machine; screen the calls
  • Take a good self-defense course




  • Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even
    if they want to help
  • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to
    give your address & phone number to the police
  • Teach them who to call for help
  • Tell them to stay out of the kitchen

  • Give the principal at school or the daycare center a
    copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone
    without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on
    the phone; give them a photo of the abuser
  • Make sure the children know who to tell at school if
    they see the abuser
  • Make sure that the school knows not to give your
    address or phone number to ANYONE





  • Change your regular travel habits
  • Try to get rides with different people
  • Shop and bank in a different place
  • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared;
    open new accounts at a different bank

  • Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you
    at all times
  • Keep a cell phone & program it to 911 (or other
    emergency number)





  • Keep a copy of your court order at work
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends
    at work
  • Tell your supervisors - see if they can make it
    harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don't go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to
    the bus
  • If the abuser calls you at work, save voice mail and
    save e-mail
  • Your employer may be able to help you find community





Protection or Restraining

  • Ask your local domestic violence program who can
    help you get a civil protection order and who can help you with criminal

In most places, the judge

  • Order the abuser to stay away from you or your
  • Order the abuser to leave your home
  • Give you temporary custody of your children &
    order the abuser to pay you temporary child support
  • Order the police to come to your home while the
    abuser picks up personal belongings
  • Give you possession of the car, furniture and other
  • Order the abuser to go to a batterers intervention
  • Order the abuser not to call you at work
  • Order the abuser to give guns to the police

If you are worried about any of the
following, make sure you:

  • Show the judge any pictures of your injuries
  • Tell the judge that you do not feel safe if the
    abuser comes to your home to pick up the children to visit with them
  • Ask the judge to order the abuser to pick up and
    return the children at the police station or some other safe place
  • Ask that any visits the abuser is permitted are at
    very specific times so the police will know by reading the court order if the
    abuser is there at the wrong time
  • Tell the judge if the abuser has harmed or
    threatened the children; ask that visits be supervised; think about who could do
    that for you
  • Get a certified copy of the court order
  • Keep the court order with you at all times




  • Show the prosecutor your court orders
  • Show the prosecutor medical records about your
    injuries or pictures if you have them
  • Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is
    helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer)
  • Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries
    or abuse
  • Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if
    the abuser is getting out of jail




  • Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you
    don't have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don't have to talk to the
    abuser's family or friends if they are there
  • Bring a friend or relative with you to wait until
    your case is heard
  • Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the
    abuser and ask him/her to look out for you
  • Make sure you have your court order before you
  • Ask the judge or the sheriff to keep the abuser
    there for a while when court is over; leave quickly
  • If you think the abuser is following you when you
    leave, call the police immediately
  • If you have to travel to another State for work or
    to get away from the abuser, take your protection order with you; it is valid


REACH provides trained advocates 24/7 to assist you in times of crisis. All calls are strictly confidential!

Macon County, NC Hotline (828) 369-5544

Jackson County, NC Hotline (828) 586-8969

*For emergencies requiring police or medical response, please dial 9-1-1

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