Protecting Yourself

Self-Protection Tips

  • Develop a safety plan that includes an escape plan for you and your children should a violent incident occur. During an incident, try to move away from an area or room where access to weapons might increase your risk, such as the kitchen, or where you can be trapped or easily injured.
  • Call the police or leave the house as soon as possible after an abusive incident. The police will respond and stay with you until you are safe or in a safe place. The police will also help you seek medical treatment, if needed. Dial “9-1-1” when there is an emergency, Watertown has Enhanced 911 and your address will automatically appear on the police dispatch screen
  • Be alert when leaving the courthouse. If you have any reason to believe your abuser may be waiting for you, please ask someone in the District Attorney’s Office or Court Advocate to help. A police officer may be able to escort you to your car.
  • Inform the police of any guns or other weapons the abuser may keep in the house. Guns or weapons will be ordered turned over to the police by the judge, along with any License to Carry Firearms or Firearms Identification Card.
  • Consider changing the locks on your home. The judge can order the abuser to turn over any and all keys to your home and/or car. Keep an extra set of keys in a safe place.
  • Inform your neighbors if a 209A Order is in place. Encourage them to call the police if they see or suspect that something is wrong.
  • Make copies of important papers and keep them in a safe place. Make a list of the things you need to take with you. i.e., birth/medical records, marriage license, check/bank books, credit cards.
  • Keep emergency money and extra clothing for yourself and your children in a safe place or with someone you trust. Include a few toys and favorite things for the children.
  • Keep the victim’s service agency number handy for emergency shelter and for support groups. You do not have to leave an abuser or have a 209A Order to attend the support groups. Information and support in making decisions are important.
  • Get medical attention as you may be injured more seriously than you realize. Go to a hospital emergency room or your private doctor as soon as possible for treatment. Ask for a copy of the treatment record.
  • Have pictures taken of your injuries and bruises at the hospital, police department, shelter or District Attorney’s Office.