Topic Overview

If you want to save this information but don’t think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number.

Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read about this topic. Use a safe computer such as one at work, a friend’s house, or a library.

Here are some helpful items to get together when you are
planning on leaving an abusive situation. Keep these items in a safe place
until you are ready to leave or in case you need to leave suddenly. If you have
children, take them. And take your pets, too, if possible.

Checklist for preparing to leave an abusive situation
Identification for yourself and your
  • Birth certificates
  • Social
    Security cards (or numbers written on paper if you can’t find the
  • Driver’s license
  • Photo identification or
  • Welfare identification
  • Green card
Important personal papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce
  • Custody orders
  • Legal protection or restraining
  • Health insurance papers and medical cards
  • Medical records for all family members
  • Children’s school
  • Investment papers/records and account numbers
  • Work permits
  • Immigration papers
  • Rental
    agreement/lease or house deed
  • Car title, registration, and
    insurance information
  • Records of police reports you have filed, or other evidence of abuse
  • Cash
  • Credit
  • ATM card
  • Checkbook and bankbook (with deposit
  • House
  • Car
  • Safety
    deposit box or post office box
A way to communicate
  • Phone calling card
  • Cell
  • Address book
  • At least 1 month’s supply for all
    medicines you and your children are taking, as well as a copy of the
A way to get by
  • Jewelry or small objects you can sell, if
    you run out of money or stop having access to your accounts
Things to help you cope
  • Pictures
  • Keepsakes
  • Children’s small toys or books

Source: National Women’s Health Information Center at


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brigid McCaw, MD, MS, MPH, FACP –

Current as ofMay 3, 2017