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How to Stay Safe from Domestic Violence and Abuse

Need help?


If you are in danger, call: 911

Or call the Domestic Violence Hotline. They can help you find emergency housing, medical care, and support and advocacy for you and your children.

Call toll-free: 800-897-5465

Make a Safety Plan

Making a safety plan now can help keep you and your children safe later.

  • Make several copies of your Protective Order. Keep a copy with you at all times. You may need to show it to the police. Keep another copy in a safe place. Give a copy to everyone else protected by the order. Give a copy to the person in charge of places where the Respondent is ordered not to go. (Such as your home, work, or school, or your children's school or daycare, etc.)
  • Hide an emergency bag in a place you can get to quickly, or leave it at a friend's house. Include: cash, checks, a credit card, medicine, clothes, toiletries, extra keys (house, car, office), phone numbers, and copies of important documents, including your Protective Order, driver's license, social security card, and insurance cards.
  • Tell your neighbors, co-workers and childcare providers that the Respondent no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see the Respondent near your home or your children.
  • Have a "code word" to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors. Ask them to call the police when you say that code word or if they see or hear anything suspicious. Make a list of phone numbers of friends or family you can call for help.
  • Get rid of guns and weapons in your house.
  • Contact your local police or sheriff's department to see if they offer home security surveys.
  • Install locks on all your doors and windows. Or change the locks.
  • Install metal doors and outside lighting.
  • Ask your phone company for an unlisted number.
  • Plan and practice an escape route with your children.
  • Teach your children when and how to call 911.
  • If available, use your phone's speed dial to call 911or other emergency numbers.
  • Identify the location of the nearest domestic violence shelter.

During an attack at your home

  • Try to escape. Leave and take your children, no matter what time it is.
  • Call the police when it is safe to do so.
  • Go to a friend's house or to a domestic violence shelter.
  • Defend and protect yourself.
  • Call for help. Scream as loud and as long as you can.
  • Stay close to a door or window so you can get out if you need to.
  • Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, and weapons.

If the Respondent disobeys the Protective Order:

  • Call the police and make a report each time the Respondent disobeys the Protective Order.
  • Show the officer a copy of your Protective Order. Ask the officer for the police case number. Ask the officer to refer the case to the prosecutor for screening even if no one is arrested.

Later, when you are safe

  • Write down what happened, when, where, and the names of any witnesses.
  • Get a copy of the officer's report.
  • Take photos of your injuries. (If police are called, they should do this.)
  • Refer the case to a prosecutor even if no one was arrested.
  • If the Respondent violated a custody, parent-time or support order, go to court and ask for an Order to Show Cause for Contempt. This asks the court to enforce the order.

If you need a safe place to stay

  • Call the Utah Domestic Violence Council Information Line at 800-897-5465.
  • Or click here for a list of shelters in Utah.

Related Information



Page Last Modified: 8/11/2011
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