Everyone has the right to live without fear. If you are considering leaving an abusive and/or violent relationship, it is important that you do so as safely as possible. Our programs and services are designed to keep you and your children secure, and there are countless other community resources that can help. This website will show you that you do not need to be alone when dealing with violence and abuse. Once you have made the decision to leave, it is essential do so quickly and quietly. Leaving can be a dangerous time and the safety of you and your children should always be your number one priority.
Are you in danger right now or in an immediate emergency? Contact the police by calling 911. If you feel that you can’t speak, just leave the phone off the hook. Help will be dispatched automatically. If you cannot call the police, call your local crisis centre or safe house. You can find their numbers in the front of your phone book. Anything you talk about is fully confidential and might help you devise an appropriate plan of action. If you live in Ottawa, you can call our crisis line at 613.234.5181.
Preparing to Leave
If you are being abused and want to leave:
- Don’t tell your partner that you’re thinking of leaving. Plan your emergency exits. Take your children with you. Keep emergency phone numbers with you at all times (crisis lines, safe houses, police, etc.). Consider hiding extra clothing, house keys, car keys, money etc., at a trustworthy friend’s house. Have an emergency suitcase packed if possible.
- Bring documents that prove you have been living at the same address with your partner such as a letter addressed to the abuser–this will be necessary if you are going to be seeking affordable housing through the Social Housing Registry.
- If you have a pet you can’t leave behind, ask the crisis line worker about the SafePet Program when you call. Your animal may be fostered through the program while you reside at Interval House of Ottawa.
If you can, you should also take the following items with you:
- Valuable documents for you and your children such as:
- Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, immigration papers, drivers’ licenses, OHIP card, SIN card, credit cards, bank books and bank cards.
- All prescriptions and medicines for you and your children.
- Special toys and comforts for your children.
Remember, we are here to help you with this transition, whether you choose to stay in a safe house or leave on your own. If you need advice, shelter or someone to listen, please call us at 613.234.5181 now.