Intervention ServicesAbuse & Rape Crisis Shelter provides 24-hour support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and related crimes in Warren County, Ohio. Our trained staff and volunteers assist in problem solving, personal safety, and police intervention. Hotline staff also assist in obtaining emergency shelter, medical and legal assistance, and provide referrals to community resources.
Domestic Violence Safety Planning
Not all of the points on this safety plan will apply to your situation. Choose the suggestions that make sense for you.
General Safety Plan
- Identify a variety of ways to get out of your home safely and practice using your escape route.
- Pack a bag with medications, important documents, money, keys, etc., and hide it. Consider changing the hiding spot if your abuser searches your home.
- Arrange a signal with neighbors to let them know when you need help (examples; turning on a porch light during the day or pulling down a particular window shade.)
- Create a code word to use with your children, grandchildren, friends, or others to indicate that you need the police.
- Decide and plan for a safe place you will go if you have to leave (even if you don’t think you will need to.)
Safety in Volatile Incidents
- Find a room or area with access to an exit. Try to avoid rooms with no outside doors and those containing potential weapons (kitchen, bathroom, garage.)
- Stay in a room with a phone to call 911, a friend, or neighbor for assistance.
- Inform law enforcement if there are weapons in the home.
- Visualize your escape route and be prepared to use it if a safe opportunity arises.
- Use your code word or special signal to tell your children or neighbors to call 911 for assistance.
- Use your instinct and judgment to safely assess what actions to take next.
Safety When Leaving
- Open a savings account in your own name at a different bank.
- Begin to increase your independence by using direct deposit to directly deposit your paycheck or benefit checks into your separate bank account.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust.
- Write down and keep your abuser’s social security number and license plate number with you to provide the police.
- Bring medications, prescriptions, hearing aids, glasses, etc..
- Determine who will let you stay with them or lend you money.
- Keep the domestic violence program number with you, 1-888-860-4084, and keep change with you at all times for emergency phone calls.
- Contact Adult Protection Services if you are 60 years or older to learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services.
- Review your safety plan regularly to assess the safest way to leave.
Safety in Your Own Home (If your abuser does not live with you)
- Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows. Consider increasing your outside lighting.
- Discuss a safety plan with your children or other dependents living with you to follow in the event you are not with them during a unexpected event. Inform their school, day care, etc. about who has permission to pick them up.
- Inform neighbors and your landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you, and request that they call the police if they see your abuser near your home.
Safety and Protection Order
- Keep your protection order with you at all times. If it is lost or destroyed, you can get another copy from the Clerk of Courts. (Consider keeping an additional copy in a safe place.)
- Call the police if your abuser violates the protection order.
- Register your protection order when you are out of state with the local police and/or clerk of courts.
- Give copies to anyone with whom your children may stay (schools, day care, etc..)
Safety in Public (at school, work, social events, recreational outings, and volunteer activities)
- Decide whom to inform of your situation (school, office, or building security), and provide a picture of your abuser. Consider having your phone calls screened.
- Create a safety plan for when you are out in public. Have someone escort you to your car, bus, or taxi. Use a variety of routes to go home and consider what you would do if something happened on your way home.
Safety & Emotional Health
- Discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust if you are considering returning to a potentially abusive situation.
- Communicate only with your abuser in the safest possible way—by phone, mail, in the company of another person, etc..
- Decide whom you can talk to freely and who can provide the support you need. Consider calling a domestic violence hotline or attending a support group.
If You are a Teen in an Abusive Relationship
- Decide which friend, teacher, relative, or police officer you can tell.
- Contact a local domestic violence program to learn about making a safety plan.
What to Take if You Leave
- Driver’s license or other form of ID.
- Your birth certificate and those of family members.
- Money, bank books, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, and mortgage payment book.
- Social Security card, work permit, green card, passport, insurance papers, and medical records.
- Your abuser’s social security number and license plate number.
- Divorce and custody papers.
- Copies of your protection order.
- Lease or rental agreement or house deed.
- Keys to house, car, and office.
- Medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc. for you and your children or other dependents.
- Personal items such as address book, pictures, etc..
In an emergency call 911 or ARCS 24/7 Crisis Hotline 1-888-860-4084
Domestic violence is a crime. You have a right to be SAFE!