How to stay safe at home
The WRC Family Violence Shelter is open. We are here for you 24/7 when you need us. But we also understand that sometimes it’s safer to stay at home. Or that it may not be safe at home right now, but it’s scarier to leave.
Your reasons for it being “safer at home” or “scary to leave the house” are VERY different if you are experiencing COVID with your abuser. The threat of physical violence increases by 75% when someone attempts to leave an abusive situation, so it may indeed be safer to stay…for now.
We also realize that you may not have access to a safe way to reach out for help at this time. Isolation is a tool that abusers have used for decades to control their victims. Now that everyone is being told to self-isolate, you may be stuck at home with your abuser all day, every day. You don’t have that opportunity to escape while you’re taking the kids to school, or during a random shopping trip, or while your abuser is at work.
For 45 years, we’ve worked with people on safety plans. Ways to stay safe inside your home, and ways to escape safely.
If you think it’s safer at home right now, use these tools:
- You know their triggers. Be extra vigilant in this time to “walk on eggshells” and keep yourself safe.
- If a fight is going to happen try to get to the living room or a bedroom where there are softer surfaces. Avoid bathrooms and kitchens with hard surfaces and utensils that can be used as weapons.
If you need a safe way out but don’t have access to a phone:
- Do you have a “nosy neighbor?” Someone who pays attention to small details and is a safe person to talk to? They can be a lifeline. Can you establish a code word or signal for them to know you’re in trouble and need help?
- Have them leave an item at your house. If you or the kids show up with the item, they’ll know to call police.
- Have a window that faces the neighbor’s house? Put flowers or a suncatcher in the window when you’re safe. Take it down when you need help.
- Are you allowed to visit neighbors? (hopefully at a safe social distance right now) Is there a code word they know to listen for? Keep it conversational so you don’t alert your abuser. “Tell me the name of those flowers you thought I should plant?”
WRC is here to help you get out of an unsafe situation. Advocates can help you establish a safety plan specific to your situation. But please know that we are NOT first responders. Our local officers know about WRC’s services. They can help you get out and get in touch with us.
If you only have ONE call you can safely make, call 911.
If you are able to talk, call us 24/7 at (405) 701-5540.
Stay safe out there!