Safety

Creating safety is important for all women who are in an abusive relationship. Safety encompasses physical well being as well as emotional. Understanding your social and emotional resources, identifying safe places you can go in times of need will support you in coping with an abusive relationship and will create awareness of your resources should you decide to leave.

Below you will find information on identifying your resources, personal and professional, this information is a great start in developing a safety plan. If would like more information contact our 24/hr support line 604-467-9966 or the counselling centre 604-467-9939.

Create a Safety Plan

Identify your support network

Who are the people in your life whom you trust to keep you and children safe? These are often people not connected with your abuser who understand your need for confidentiality.

 

ie: family/relatives, co-workers/supervisors, neighbours, counsellors, professional support workers, police officers, school based staff and supports, phone based support and emergency lines.

 

Things to take with you if you leave

Many of these items can be collected ahead of time and stored with someone from your support network in case you need to leave quickly.

 

ie: important documents (birth certificates, passports, citizenship papers, custody papers, court orders ect.), money/credit cards, medicine, house keys, medicine, small valuables, clothing and small items for self and children for a couple of days.

 

Identify places you can go

Where can me and my children can go if we need to leave quickly?

 

ie: the home of someone listed in your support network, police station, shelter or transitional house, hotel, 24 hour store or coffee shop.

 

who can help

What agencies or professional supports are available in your community?

 

ie: counselling and outreach programs, transition houses, Family Justice, Ministry of Children and Family Development, BC Housing

 

if you are in immediate danger call 911

if you have more questions, contact our 24 hour support line at 604-467-9966

Internet Safety

There are many ways to protect yourself when using the internet and social media. The safest way is to use computers or devices that your partner does not have access to.

As this is not always possible we have compiled information to help you gain understanding of how you can protect yourself when using the internet.

Please note our "Safe Exit" button located at the top of our web page.


Deleting your Browser's History

When possible use a private search page provided by your internet search provider. Your browser will automatically not store any of the information about pages you visit or information you searched when using these types of pages. 


Social Media

Many social media platforms collect and store information about you as well as utilise location services to share your where abouts with your followers. Below are some links to better help you understand what information is collected and shared. 

What should I do if I think someone is being abused?

If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the emergency number in your community.

Put her safety first.  Never talk to anyone about abuse in front of their suspected abuser.  Unless she specifically asks for it, never give her materials about domestic abuse or leave information through voice messages or emails that might be discovered by her abuser. 

However, abuse thrives in secrecy, so speak up if you can do so safely.  If she wants to talk, listen.  If she doesn’t, simply tell her she does not deserve to be harmed and that you are concerned for her safety.  Let her know you are there to help and/or support her to connect with a professional support.  If she decides to stay in the relationship, try not to judge her.  Remember, leaving an abuser can be extremely dangerous.  Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can offer a woman who is being abused is your respect.

Resources for Professionals

Always put your client’s safety first. Do not discuss domestic abuse and/or violence in front of the abuser. Women experiencing domestic abuse and violence need to be heard, respected and believed. Provide referrals and resources as your client permits and educate yourself as to the signs of abuse and the ways in which you can support your client to create safety. Below you will find resources you can use to support your client; either by helping her to develop a safety plan or by educating yourself about abuse.

Safety Planning

Safety Plans are important for both women who are planning to leave or to say in the relationship. Completing a safety plan can support a women to seek out safety when things are escalating at home or in order to exit the relationship.


Educate Yourself

Domestic Violence can be difficult to see in a relationship. Abusers are often described as charming and use a variety of tactics to maintain power and control over their partners. Abusers manipulate family, friends, relatives, employers and professionals to maintain their power and control of their partner.

Educating yourself about the red flags and impacts of abuse is a great place to start supporting your client.

We invite you to connect with us if you have any further questions.

More Resources

BC211 provides a comprehensive database of resources available in the province of British Columbia. We invite you to access their database to find other services in the community to support you and your family.