Sometimes parents stay in abusive relationships “for the children.” But children can be traumatized by being exposed to abuse.  Planning for your children’s safety with them will help you make the necessary choices to live a life free of abuse.  Consider the following in planning for your children’s safety:

  • Tell children that they are only responsible for keeping themselves safe, not for protecting you during a violent incident
  • Role-play with children what to do in the event that something scary happens
  • Practice a signal and escape plan with children
  • Talk with children about what to do if the abuser shows up
  • Make sure that children know how to use the phone and dial 911

Planning Your Pets’ Safety

There is a strong link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. In a Women’s Shelter Survey conducted by the Ontario SPCA, easily more than half of the victims who responded had pets that were harmed or killed by their abuser. Knowing the threat to their pets, victims of abuse often delay leaving an abusive relationship because they are afraid to leave their pets behind. There are a few things to keep in mind to help keep your pet(s) safe:

  • If your pet has been threatened, consider asking a friend or family member to care for it temporarily
  • Keep your vet bills and license handy for proof of vaccination and ownership
  • Contact the Lanark Animal Welfare Society’s cruelty line ((613) 283-9360) or your local SPCA for support
  • Discuss your concerns with the staff at Lanark County Interval House (1-800-267-7496), as the shelter partners with a number of local vets and volunteer foster parents for support