24 Hour Domestic Violence Crisis Line 1-800-998-8340

24 Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-570-3703

General Guidelines for Emergency Safety Planning


Preparing to leave an Abusive Relationship

  • You may need to request a police stand-by or escort while you leave
  • If you need to sneak away, be prepared as best as possible
  • Make a plan for how and where you will escape
  • Put aside emergency money as best you can
  • Know where you can go to get help; tell someone what is happening to you
  • If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask hospital personnel that they document your visit.
  • Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
  • Contact your local battered women’s shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.
  • Keep a journal of all violent incidences, pictures of injuries, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible
  • Hide an extra set of car keys, house keys, etc
  • Pack an extra set of clothes for yourself and your children and store them at a safe site
  • Take with you important phone numbers of friends, relatives, doctors, etc.


Take important documents or copies of: 

  • Driver’s license
  • Regularly needed medication
  • Credit cards or a list of credit cards you hold yourself or jointly
  • Pay stubs
  • Checkbooks and information about bank accounts and other assets
  • ONLY if time is available, also take or have copies of: Citizenship documents (such as your passport, green card, etc.)
  • Titles, deeds and other property information
  • Medical records
  • Children’s school and immunization records
  • Insurance information
  • Copy of marriage license, birth certificates, will and other legal documents
  • Verification of social security numbers
  • Welfare identification


For assistance with emergency planning, call the Russell House 24 hour crisis lines:

Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 800.998.8340

Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 888.570.3703

Making the call to our 24 Hour Crisis Lines
Making the call is the first step in establishing a life free of violence.  We at Russell House provide both a 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline and a 24/7 Sexual Assault/Rape Hotline.

During this initial crisis phone call you can share your abusive situation with a victim advocate who understands different forms of abuse and will be able to provide answers to questions you may have about how to get help and emergency safety planning. They will also support and empower you in the decisions that you believe are the best for your situation.


Some helpful tips to consider before calling:

  • If safe, have a pen and paper to take notes
  • Ensure that you are in a safe place before making the phone call
  • Remember to take your time sharing your situation, experiences, and questions
  • Anything you share during your phone call is 100% confidential
  • If you are not in need of emergency shelter, you may still be eligible for other services that we provide as a non-resident


Important Tip: We recommend that after you call the 24/7 crisis hotline that you immediately after hang up, dial 1, and hang up again. This prevents anyone from using redial on the telephone to see who you were calling.

Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1-800-998-8340
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-570-3703