Santa isn’t the only one that should have a list. If you or someone you know is in an unsafe domestic violence situation, you need to have your own list for when you are ready and able to leave. There’s no time like the present to make your own list and start checking it twice. While you may be waiting to get through the holidays for your kids, family, etc. this is a great time to get ready to leave safely.
What should be on your list? Legal papers (license, social security, birth certificate, passport for you and children), financial paperwork (bank statements, credit report, retirement statements, tax returns), health documents (insurance, medical history for yourself and children), paperwork for your assets (mortgage, rental agreements, car title, car insurance, etc.), personal information (phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, account passwords).
The above list is a starting point, so make your own list and check it twice. Have your escape plan ready so you can get out safely when the time is right. If you don’t have a family or friend you can go to, there are shelters available. In an emergency situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
Stay safe and have a happy holiday season. If you are able, give yourself the best gift you can and get your list started so you can get into a healthier happier new year.