First and foremost, you need to seek help. This is even more important if you are pregnant or just gave birth and have a newborn to protect as well. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
If you are in a situation where you are being abused, it is imperative to seek help, if not for you, then for the sake of your unborn baby. The first step is to tell someone, whether it be a trusted friend or your obstetric provider. Doctors' offices have many resources that can help you get to a safe place and get the assistance you need.
In the meantime, developing a safety plan can be the difference between life and death. This includes:
- Have a suitcase packed with a few necessities, such as medications and extra car keys. Keep this at a trusted friend’s house if you need to leave quickly.
- Put money away every week into an emergency fund that only you have control of.
- Keep essential items in a safe place. This includes credit cards, health insurance cards, a checkbook, medical records, and your birth certificate.
- Have a safe place where you know you can always go, whether it be a shelter or a friend’s house.
- Call your doctor if you are hurt. If you are pregnant, go to Labor and Delivery. If not, go to the Emergency Room.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, March 2020