Tailor Your Safety Plan to Your Individual Situation
For domestic violence survivors, there is no safety plan where “one size fits all.” Everybody’s situation is different. Tailoring a safety plan to your individual situation is important.
The following ideas are some basic steps for keeping yourself safe before, during, and after an attack.
- Practice how to get out of the house safely. Which door, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes can be used?
- Decide where to go if you have to leave home.
- Prepare an overnight bag. Keep it in a readily accessible place. In addition to clothes, include in it:
- Money, checkbook, credit and debit cards, ATM cards
- Driver’s license and registration, social security cards, birth certificates
- Public Aid cards, green card, passports, work permits
- Order of Protection, divorce papers
- Medications, medical and vaccination records
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Keys to house, car, and work
- Insurance information
- Address book
- Leave a set of keys and copies of important documents with a neighbor or trusted friend in case you need to leave quickly and your bag is not accessible.
- Tell a neighbor about the abuse and ask them to call the police if they hear any suspicious noises coming from the house.
- Develop a code word with the children and friends to signal them to call the police.
- Teach these strategies to the children.
- Move to a room that is lowest risk with easy access to an exit. Stay away from enclosed spaces near any weapons, such as the bathroom, kitchen or garage.
- Get away. Go to a friend’s or relative’s house.
- Call 911. They are required to provide or arrange transportation to a hospital or safe place for you.
- Call for help. Scream loudly and continuously.
- Get medical attention immediately. Tell the doctor or nurse what happened. Ask them to take pictures of your injuries.
- Make a police report, even if you don’t want the abuser to be arrested. It will be a record of the incident and will provide evidence if you ever need it. The abuser will not be notified that you made the report.
- Save evidence, including medical records, police reports, dated photos of your injuries or the house in disarray, torn clothing and any weapons used.
- Call Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage’s 24 hour hotline at 630-469-5650 for support and services.
An Order of Protection (OP) is a court order that is designed to protect victims of domestic violence. It is issued by a judge and tells the Respondent (the person accused of abuse) what he/she can or cannot do. It is enforceable in all 50 states.
View or download our Order of Protection info sheet for helpful information about the Order of Protection process in DuPage County. This information will assist you in determining whether you qualify for an Order and will prepare you to come to court.
If after reading through this information you have questions about whether you qualify for an Order, please contact the FSS of MFSD Court Advocacy Office at 630-407-8813.
Available 24 hours
For clients as well as walk-ins
Tuesdays 12 – 2 p.m.
605 E. Roosevelt Wheaton, IL (English & Spanish)
Thursdays 12 – 2 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
7300 Main St., Downers Grove, IL (English & Spanish)
Walk-in services are provided for approximately 20 minutes and include support, immediate case management needs, community resources and referrals and assistance with filling out FSS of MFSD forms. Offered for both existing and prospective clients.
DuPage County Government Complex
505 N. County Farm Road (third floor directly across from the escalators)
Wheaton, IL 60187
Mon.-Fri.: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(court is in recess 12 – 1:30 p.m.)
DuPage County Government Complex
501 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187
DuPage County Legal Aid
126 County Farm Rd, Wheaton, IL 60187
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Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage
605 E Roosevelt Rd, Wheaton, Illinois 60187
Tel: 630-221-8290 | Fax: 630-221-8098