A major concern during the pandemic is for those individuals who are stuck in the house with an abusive partner. Below are some tips and tricks to help keep you safe (in no particular order).
1. Talk to a family law lawyer: Depending on your circumstances, a family law lawyer in Toronto can assess if bringing an Emergency Motion is the best move for you to protect your safety and also go over a safety plan with you.
2. Web History: Frequently clear your search history if you are searching for ways to stay safe or resources in the event your partner gets a hold of your browser or cell phone and checks your history.
3. Callers: Clear your caller history so that your partner cannot track who you have been calling for information and support to avoid them stalking you and/or figuring out your plan if you are making changes to stay safe in the home or escape.
4. Avoid common rooms: Do your best to avoid going into common rooms in the home such as the kitchen or bathroom. These rooms have items that can be used to harm you and there is also usually only 1 exit that your partner could block you from using to escape.
5. Have a buddy: Make a friend or neighbour aware of your circumstances so that they can check up on you by calling or texting you everyday. If they do not hear from you, they know to contact police if they think something has happened.
6. Escape bag: Prepare items for an emergency escape if you need. This includes important identity documents such as your passport, personal information/documents, clothes, granola bars, valuables, cash etc.
7. Keep a safe room: Find a safe room in your house where you can run and hide in if you need. Go as far as trying to set up the room so that once you are inside you can block your partner from entering by either locking it or moving furniture to block to door.
8. Clothing: Avoid wearing clothing that could be used as a weapon such as neck scarves or dangling earrings.
9. Police: Call the police if your safety is at risk.
10. (For women) Contact a Women’s Shelter: If you need to leave and you have no where to go, contact your nearest women’s shelter. They can also provide you with a support to make an emergency exit and safety plan based on your circumstances.
If you need any help with family law matters, contact AP Family Lawyers in Toronto, Pickering, Markham, and Scarborough. You can call us at (905) 492-7662 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.