If you need to speak to someone right now about

a human rights violation or interpersonal violence situation.


+27 71 427 0187 or sos@optimystic.za.net







  • Open a cheque or savings account in your own name to begin to establish or increase your independence.

  • Rent a post office box to receive mail that may not be safe to receive at home. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.

  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.

  • Determine who would let you stay with them or lend you money.

  • Keep your local domestic violence project’s number nearby, and have change or a calling card with you at all times for emergency phone calls.

  • Review your safety plan as often as possible. Remember: Leaving may be the most dangerous time.









  • Change your door locks as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.

  • Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.

  • Inform your children’s school or daycare about who has permission to pick up your children.

  • Inform neighbours and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see them near your home.









  • If you have one, keep your restraining order on you at all times.

  • Call the police if your partner violates the order in any way.

  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.

  • Inform family, friends, neighbours, teachers, that you have a restraining order in effect, and give them relevant details (who has custody, when and where visitation takes place, and so on).









  • If you feel comfortable, tell your boss and co-workers. Your office may set up a safety policy.

  • Give HR or security a copy of your restraining order and a recent picture of the perpetrator.

  • Tell your colleagues and office security to call the police if they see your abuser at the workplace.

  • Ask colleagues not to disclose where you are if your abuser comes to the office or calls.

  • Ask someone to screen your calls.

  • Move to an alternate worksite, avoid sitting with your back to doors, lobbies or street-level windows and include barriers in your workspace such as desks, bookcases, walls, or other furniture.

  • Carry a phone, use escorts to vehicles, and park close to the building.

  • Keep your office door locked if you can.

  • Plan an escape route if your partner comes to work.

  • Work when other people are there, never alone.

  • Vary your route and the times you go to work.





  • Vary or change any routine your partner may be familiar with. Change grocery stores, banks, day care, and so on.

  • Go out during the busiest times.

  • Have people you trust walk you to and from your car.

  • Take someone with you.

  • Carry a whistle.

  • Take a self-defence class.

  • Programme the police, crisis line or friend on your phone. Keep it with you at all times.






  • Identification book and passport/Work permit

  • Driver’s license and registration

  • Your birth certificate

  • Money

  • Lease, rental agreement, deed

  • Address book

  • Bank cards, account numbers, and contact details

  • Cheque books

  • Children’s toys

  • Divorce papers

  • Insurance papers

  • Jewellery

  • Keys - house, car, office

  • Medication

  • Medical records

  • Personal treasures

  • Photos

  • Small saleable objects







  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which door, window, or staircase would be best.

  • Have an extra set of keys and a packed bag ready and keep them in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly.

  • Identify a neighbour you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.

  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbours when you need the police.

  • Teach your children how to dial the local emergency number.

  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).

  • Teach your children how to get out or find safety.

  • Always remember: You don’t deserve to be hit, threatened or controlled.








  • Follow the steps for “Before a violent encounter”.

  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.

  • Use your instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he wants to calm them down. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.


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