Far too many Ohioans are living in abusive relationships. Being the victim of domestic violence can be traumatizing on many levels, and, sadly, many find it too difficult or frightening to leave. Yet, the alternative, remaining in a relationship defined by domestic abuse, can be extremely dangerous not only to the victim, but also his or her children. Therefore, it is crucial that these individuals develop a plan to ensure their and their children's safety and, perhaps, map a way out of the relationship.
There are many things that must be taken into consideration when creating a safety plan. An individual should gauge their partner's level of abuse so he or she can accurately assess the threat before it presents itself. Also, he or she should analyze his or her environment, looking for safe rooms with multiple exits to which he or she can escape if needed. It is also a good idea to let family, friends, and neighbors know of the situation so that they can be signaled for help if the need arises. Additionally, it may be wise to leave a fully fueled vehicle backed into the driveway so that a quick getaway can be had if needed.
There are also things that can be done to help protect an individual's children. Practicing how to get out of the house with them can be critical, and the same can be said for teaching children how to get help. Children should never get involved in the violence. Thus, it might be a good idea to create a code word that signals to them that they need to leave the room.
While these tips might help an individual remain as safe as possible, the best course of action might be to call the police and take legal action. By working with a family law attorney to file a protective order, an individual might be able ensure the safety of children and move on with life without fear.
Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, "Types of Safety Planning," accessed on May 4, 2015