GETTING OUT:

A Process Learned from the Courage & Wisdom of Survivors

The Getting Out Guide will help you identify the signs of an abusive relationship and how to leave a dangerous situation.

The Safety Planner offers guidance on what to take with you, where you can go, and who you can contact for help.

GETTING OUT cover green.png
SAFETY PLANNER cover green.png

When you click on the images of the Getting Out Guide and the Safety Planner, it will download them to your device. 

 

You can also view the Getting Out Guide and the Safety Planner by clicking the chapters below.

  • Use your home computer cautiously.  Consider using a computer at work, the library, or at a friend's house to view the Guide and Safety Planner.

  • Clear your viewing history.  Follow your browser's instructions to clear any record of websites or graphics you've viewed.

  • Click on the Quick Exit button at the top of this page if someone comes along and you do not want them to see what you are viewing.

If you are in danger, or require emergency services, call 911.

GETTING OUT

Dedication


To those who share the experience, strength, and wisdom they gain from leaving an abusive situation and to those still living in dangerous relationships.




Introduction


Being hurt or abused by someone you love or care about is confusing and scary. At times, you might feel afraid for yourself, your children, your family, pets, or others who are close to you. Abuse can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual identity, culture, income, ability, or where you live. It is our hope that those who are experiencing violence and abuse recognize that there is help and hope for the future. This guide was created through a series of consultations across Saskatchewan with people who represent the diversity of our province. It is based on the experiences of people who have left violent and abusive relationships and are now living violence-free lives, and the knowledge of those who provide support and services to people dealing with abuse and violence in their lives. This guide is offered with respect and humility to honour those who have shared their personal experience, wisdom, and courage, and those who work every day to support people in our communities to find their strength to heal and build healthy, resilient lives for themselves and their families. This information is not a substitute for legal advice or personal counselling. Each situation is different and you may need professional support as you work through the process. Remember that you are not alone. There are people who will listen and help you as you begin to make changes. You have worth and value. You deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy. It is important to keep this guide in a safe and private place if you are currently living in a dangerous situation. If you are in danger, or require emergency services, call 911.





Part 1: Is This Really Happening to Me?

Creating Your Safety Plan


Leaving a relationship is a difficult decision. You may experience conflicting emotions. For example, you want the abuse to stop but you love and care for the abuser. You might feel scared, helpless, or that you deserve the abuse. You might feel embarrassed to admit that your relationship is in trouble. It is hard to admit you are being abused, but seeking help is important. Your safety plan is your guide to leaving the abuse. Your safety plan should include what you will take with you, where you can go, and who you can contact for help. While you should try to make your safety plan as solid as possible, leave some room for flexibility in case the situation changes. Sometimes things come up at the last minute. Having a backup plan and leaving room for change will make things easier.




Cards You Will Need


Carry in your wallet originals or copies of all the cards you normally use:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Credit cards
  • Phone card
  • Bank cards
  • Health cards
  • Status card




Items to Carry With You


Try to keep your wallet, purse, or bag handy containing:

  • Keys for your home, car, workplace, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Cheque book, bank books/statements
  • Driver’s licence, registration, insurance
  • Address/telephone book
  • Picture of spouse/partner and any children
  • Emergency money (in cash) hidden away
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Extra medications and a list of medications and their dosages




Packing Your Go Bag


Have a suitcase available so you can quickly pack the following items:

  • Clothing for you and your children
  • Special toys and/or comforts for your children
  • Medications
  • Jewelry and items of special sentimental value
  • A list of other items you would like to take if you get a chance to return to your home to collect more belongings later




Pet Supplies


If you have pets, gather items you will need for their care:

  • Crate or kennel
  • Leash and collar
  • Food and water bowls
  • A small amount of food if possible (especially if your pet is on a special diet)
  • Any special toy or bedding that your pet enjoys
  • Pet licence or something to prove ownership of the animal




Important Documents


Make a photocopy of the following items and store in a safe place, away from the originals. Hide the originals someplace else, if you can.

  • Passports, birth certificates, Indian/First Nations status cards, citizenship papers, immigration papers, permanent resident or citizenship cards, etc., for all family members
  • Driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance papers
  • Prescriptions, medical, and vaccination records for all family members
  • School records
  • All income assistance documentation
  • Marriage certificate, divorce papers, custody documentation, court orders, protection orders, or other legal documents
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage documents




Other Considerations


  • Open a bank account in your own name and instruct the bank not to phone you. Access the statement online or arrange for it to be sent to a different location, such as to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Store documents in a safety deposit box at a bank that your partner does not go to.
  • Save and set aside as much money as you can (e.g., take a bit of change out of grocery money if/when possible).
  • Hide extra clothing, keys, money, etc., at a friend/family member’s house.
  • Decide where you are going to go and how you will get there (e.g., by taxi or getting a ride from a friend).
  • If you use mobility devices or other equipment to accommodate a disability, consider where you can rent or borrow any needed items.
  • Connect with an agency that can help you by contacting 211 Saskatchewan.




Finding Help


Call 2-1-1, text 2-1-1, web chat or search independently through sk.211.ca to connect with services and supports in your local area. Trained professionals are here to help you find community, non-clinical health, and government services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages, are available over the phone. Need Help? It’s just a click, call or text away. Phone: Dial 211 from a landline or cell phone Web Chat: Visit sk.211.ca/contact_us to start your chat Text: Text “Hello” to 211 Out-of-province phone call: Dial 1-306-751-0397




In an Emergency


  • If you call 911 from a landline, you can leave the phone off the hook after you have dialed the number and the police will come to your location. This can be particularly useful if you have any communication difficulties.
  • A 911 call is free from cell phones.
  • Even if the phone is not activated or out of minutes, you can still call 911. However, if you call from a cellphone, the police cannot tell where you are calling from, so be sure to give them your address immediately.
  • If the abuser interrupts while you are calling 911, a tip to remember is to talk to the operator like you are ordering take out food. This way you are still able to provide your location.
  • Remember that there is no charge when dialing 911 from a pay phone.
  • For TTY access (telephone device for the deaf) press the spacebar announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.
  • If you do not speak English, tell the 911 call-taker the name of the language you speak. Stay on the line while you are connected to interpreter services that will provide assistance in your language.
  • Try to remain on the line until the 911 call-taker tells you it is okay to hang up.
Cell phones and phone cards may be available free of charge to help you remain in contact with family and friends. The SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program is available for clients of domestic violence shelters and some family violence counselling centres. Ask your counsellor for further information about the program. Remember: You can call 911 from anywhere on a charged cell phone, even if the phone is not activated or is out of minutes. Always call 911 if you feel you are in danger.





Part 2: What Can I Do?

Creating Your Safety Plan


Leaving a relationship is a difficult decision. You may experience conflicting emotions. For example, you want the abuse to stop but you love and care for the abuser. You might feel scared, helpless, or that you deserve the abuse. You might feel embarrassed to admit that your relationship is in trouble. It is hard to admit you are being abused, but seeking help is important. Your safety plan is your guide to leaving the abuse. Your safety plan should include what you will take with you, where you can go, and who you can contact for help. While you should try to make your safety plan as solid as possible, leave some room for flexibility in case the situation changes. Sometimes things come up at the last minute. Having a backup plan and leaving room for change will make things easier.




Cards You Will Need


Carry in your wallet originals or copies of all the cards you normally use:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Credit cards
  • Phone card
  • Bank cards
  • Health cards
  • Status card




Items to Carry With You


Try to keep your wallet, purse, or bag handy containing:

  • Keys for your home, car, workplace, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Cheque book, bank books/statements
  • Driver’s licence, registration, insurance
  • Address/telephone book
  • Picture of spouse/partner and any children
  • Emergency money (in cash) hidden away
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Extra medications and a list of medications and their dosages




Packing Your Go Bag


Have a suitcase available so you can quickly pack the following items:

  • Clothing for you and your children
  • Special toys and/or comforts for your children
  • Medications
  • Jewelry and items of special sentimental value
  • A list of other items you would like to take if you get a chance to return to your home to collect more belongings later




Pet Supplies


If you have pets, gather items you will need for their care:

  • Crate or kennel
  • Leash and collar
  • Food and water bowls
  • A small amount of food if possible (especially if your pet is on a special diet)
  • Any special toy or bedding that your pet enjoys
  • Pet licence or something to prove ownership of the animal




Important Documents


Make a photocopy of the following items and store in a safe place, away from the originals. Hide the originals someplace else, if you can.

  • Passports, birth certificates, Indian/First Nations status cards, citizenship papers, immigration papers, permanent resident or citizenship cards, etc., for all family members
  • Driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance papers
  • Prescriptions, medical, and vaccination records for all family members
  • School records
  • All income assistance documentation
  • Marriage certificate, divorce papers, custody documentation, court orders, protection orders, or other legal documents
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage documents




Other Considerations


  • Open a bank account in your own name and instruct the bank not to phone you. Access the statement online or arrange for it to be sent to a different location, such as to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Store documents in a safety deposit box at a bank that your partner does not go to.
  • Save and set aside as much money as you can (e.g., take a bit of change out of grocery money if/when possible).
  • Hide extra clothing, keys, money, etc., at a friend/family member’s house.
  • Decide where you are going to go and how you will get there (e.g., by taxi or getting a ride from a friend).
  • If you use mobility devices or other equipment to accommodate a disability, consider where you can rent or borrow any needed items.
  • Connect with an agency that can help you by contacting 211 Saskatchewan.




Finding Help


Call 2-1-1, text 2-1-1, web chat or search independently through sk.211.ca to connect with services and supports in your local area. Trained professionals are here to help you find community, non-clinical health, and government services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages, are available over the phone. Need Help? It’s just a click, call or text away. Phone: Dial 211 from a landline or cell phone Web Chat: Visit sk.211.ca/contact_us to start your chat Text: Text “Hello” to 211 Out-of-province phone call: Dial 1-306-751-0397




In an Emergency


  • If you call 911 from a landline, you can leave the phone off the hook after you have dialed the number and the police will come to your location. This can be particularly useful if you have any communication difficulties.
  • A 911 call is free from cell phones.
  • Even if the phone is not activated or out of minutes, you can still call 911. However, if you call from a cellphone, the police cannot tell where you are calling from, so be sure to give them your address immediately.
  • If the abuser interrupts while you are calling 911, a tip to remember is to talk to the operator like you are ordering take out food. This way you are still able to provide your location.
  • Remember that there is no charge when dialing 911 from a pay phone.
  • For TTY access (telephone device for the deaf) press the spacebar announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.
  • If you do not speak English, tell the 911 call-taker the name of the language you speak. Stay on the line while you are connected to interpreter services that will provide assistance in your language.
  • Try to remain on the line until the 911 call-taker tells you it is okay to hang up.
Cell phones and phone cards may be available free of charge to help you remain in contact with family and friends. The SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program is available for clients of domestic violence shelters and some family violence counselling centres. Ask your counsellor for further information about the program. Remember: You can call 911 from anywhere on a charged cell phone, even if the phone is not activated or is out of minutes. Always call 911 if you feel you are in danger.





Part 3: Finding Help

Dedication


To those who share the experience, strength, and wisdom they gain from leaving an abusive situation and to those still living in dangerous relationships.




Introduction


Being hurt or abused by someone you love or care about is confusing and scary. At times, you might feel afraid for yourself, your children, your family, pets, or others who are close to you. Abuse can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual identity, culture, income, ability, or where you live. It is our hope that those who are experiencing violence and abuse recognize that there is help and hope for the future. This guide was created through a series of consultations across Saskatchewan with people who represent the diversity of our province. It is based on the experiences of people who have left violent and abusive relationships and are now living violence-free lives, and the knowledge of those who provide support and services to people dealing with abuse and violence in their lives. This guide is offered with respect and humility to honour those who have shared their personal experience, wisdom, and courage, and those who work every day to support people in our communities to find their strength to heal and build healthy, resilient lives for themselves and their families. This information is not a substitute for legal advice or personal counselling. Each situation is different and you may need professional support as you work through the process. Remember that you are not alone. There are people who will listen and help you as you begin to make changes. You have worth and value. You deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy. It is important to keep this guide in a safe and private place if you are currently living in a dangerous situation. If you are in danger, or require emergency services, call 911.





Part 4: Preparing to Leave

Creating Your Safety Plan


Leaving a relationship is a difficult decision. You may experience conflicting emotions. For example, you want the abuse to stop but you love and care for the abuser. You might feel scared, helpless, or that you deserve the abuse. You might feel embarrassed to admit that your relationship is in trouble. It is hard to admit you are being abused, but seeking help is important. Your safety plan is your guide to leaving the abuse. Your safety plan should include what you will take with you, where you can go, and who you can contact for help. While you should try to make your safety plan as solid as possible, leave some room for flexibility in case the situation changes. Sometimes things come up at the last minute. Having a backup plan and leaving room for change will make things easier.




Cards You Will Need


Carry in your wallet originals or copies of all the cards you normally use:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Credit cards
  • Phone card
  • Bank cards
  • Health cards
  • Status card




Items to Carry With You


Try to keep your wallet, purse, or bag handy containing:

  • Keys for your home, car, workplace, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Cheque book, bank books/statements
  • Driver’s licence, registration, insurance
  • Address/telephone book
  • Picture of spouse/partner and any children
  • Emergency money (in cash) hidden away
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Extra medications and a list of medications and their dosages




Packing Your Go Bag


Have a suitcase available so you can quickly pack the following items:

  • Clothing for you and your children
  • Special toys and/or comforts for your children
  • Medications
  • Jewelry and items of special sentimental value
  • A list of other items you would like to take if you get a chance to return to your home to collect more belongings later




Pet Supplies


If you have pets, gather items you will need for their care:

  • Crate or kennel
  • Leash and collar
  • Food and water bowls
  • A small amount of food if possible (especially if your pet is on a special diet)
  • Any special toy or bedding that your pet enjoys
  • Pet licence or something to prove ownership of the animal




Important Documents


Make a photocopy of the following items and store in a safe place, away from the originals. Hide the originals someplace else, if you can.

  • Passports, birth certificates, Indian/First Nations status cards, citizenship papers, immigration papers, permanent resident or citizenship cards, etc., for all family members
  • Driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance papers
  • Prescriptions, medical, and vaccination records for all family members
  • School records
  • All income assistance documentation
  • Marriage certificate, divorce papers, custody documentation, court orders, protection orders, or other legal documents
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage documents




Other Considerations


  • Open a bank account in your own name and instruct the bank not to phone you. Access the statement online or arrange for it to be sent to a different location, such as to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Store documents in a safety deposit box at a bank that your partner does not go to.
  • Save and set aside as much money as you can (e.g., take a bit of change out of grocery money if/when possible).
  • Hide extra clothing, keys, money, etc., at a friend/family member’s house.
  • Decide where you are going to go and how you will get there (e.g., by taxi or getting a ride from a friend).
  • If you use mobility devices or other equipment to accommodate a disability, consider where you can rent or borrow any needed items.
  • Connect with an agency that can help you by contacting 211 Saskatchewan.




Finding Help


Call 2-1-1, text 2-1-1, web chat or search independently through sk.211.ca to connect with services and supports in your local area. Trained professionals are here to help you find community, non-clinical health, and government services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages, are available over the phone. Need Help? It’s just a click, call or text away. Phone: Dial 211 from a landline or cell phone Web Chat: Visit sk.211.ca/contact_us to start your chat Text: Text “Hello” to 211 Out-of-province phone call: Dial 1-306-751-0397




In an Emergency


  • If you call 911 from a landline, you can leave the phone off the hook after you have dialed the number and the police will come to your location. This can be particularly useful if you have any communication difficulties.
  • A 911 call is free from cell phones.
  • Even if the phone is not activated or out of minutes, you can still call 911. However, if you call from a cellphone, the police cannot tell where you are calling from, so be sure to give them your address immediately.
  • If the abuser interrupts while you are calling 911, a tip to remember is to talk to the operator like you are ordering take out food. This way you are still able to provide your location.
  • Remember that there is no charge when dialing 911 from a pay phone.
  • For TTY access (telephone device for the deaf) press the spacebar announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.
  • If you do not speak English, tell the 911 call-taker the name of the language you speak. Stay on the line while you are connected to interpreter services that will provide assistance in your language.
  • Try to remain on the line until the 911 call-taker tells you it is okay to hang up.
Cell phones and phone cards may be available free of charge to help you remain in contact with family and friends. The SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program is available for clients of domestic violence shelters and some family violence counselling centres. Ask your counsellor for further information about the program. Remember: You can call 911 from anywhere on a charged cell phone, even if the phone is not activated or is out of minutes. Always call 911 if you feel you are in danger.





Part 5: Starting Fresh

Dedication


To those who share the experience, strength, and wisdom they gain from leaving an abusive situation and to those still living in dangerous relationships.




Introduction


Being hurt or abused by someone you love or care about is confusing and scary. At times, you might feel afraid for yourself, your children, your family, pets, or others who are close to you. Abuse can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual identity, culture, income, ability, or where you live. It is our hope that those who are experiencing violence and abuse recognize that there is help and hope for the future. This guide was created through a series of consultations across Saskatchewan with people who represent the diversity of our province. It is based on the experiences of people who have left violent and abusive relationships and are now living violence-free lives, and the knowledge of those who provide support and services to people dealing with abuse and violence in their lives. This guide is offered with respect and humility to honour those who have shared their personal experience, wisdom, and courage, and those who work every day to support people in our communities to find their strength to heal and build healthy, resilient lives for themselves and their families. This information is not a substitute for legal advice or personal counselling. Each situation is different and you may need professional support as you work through the process. Remember that you are not alone. There are people who will listen and help you as you begin to make changes. You have worth and value. You deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy. It is important to keep this guide in a safe and private place if you are currently living in a dangerous situation. If you are in danger, or require emergency services, call 911.





SAFETY PLANNER

Creating Your Safety Plan


Leaving a relationship is a difficult decision. You may experience conflicting emotions. For example, you want the abuse to stop but you love and care for the abuser. You might feel scared, helpless, or that you deserve the abuse. You might feel embarrassed to admit that your relationship is in trouble. It is hard to admit you are being abused, but seeking help is important. Your safety plan is your guide to leaving the abuse. Your safety plan should include what you will take with you, where you can go, and who you can contact for help. While you should try to make your safety plan as solid as possible, leave some room for flexibility in case the situation changes. Sometimes things come up at the last minute. Having a backup plan and leaving room for change will make things easier.




Cards You Will Need


Carry in your wallet originals or copies of all the cards you normally use:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Credit cards
  • Phone card
  • Bank cards
  • Health cards
  • Status card




Items to Carry With You


Try to keep your wallet, purse, or bag handy containing:

  • Keys for your home, car, workplace, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Cheque book, bank books/statements
  • Driver’s licence, registration, insurance
  • Address/telephone book
  • Picture of spouse/partner and any children
  • Emergency money (in cash) hidden away
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Extra medications and a list of medications and their dosages




Packing Your Go Bag


Have a suitcase available so you can quickly pack the following items:

  • Clothing for you and your children
  • Special toys and/or comforts for your children
  • Medications
  • Jewelry and items of special sentimental value
  • A list of other items you would like to take if you get a chance to return to your home to collect more belongings later




Pet Supplies


If you have pets, gather items you will need for their care:

  • Crate or kennel
  • Leash and collar
  • Food and water bowls
  • A small amount of food if possible (especially if your pet is on a special diet)
  • Any special toy or bedding that your pet enjoys
  • Pet licence or something to prove ownership of the animal




Important Documents


Make a photocopy of the following items and store in a safe place, away from the originals. Hide the originals someplace else, if you can.

  • Passports, birth certificates, Indian/First Nations status cards, citizenship papers, immigration papers, permanent resident or citizenship cards, etc., for all family members
  • Driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance papers
  • Prescriptions, medical, and vaccination records for all family members
  • School records
  • All income assistance documentation
  • Marriage certificate, divorce papers, custody documentation, court orders, protection orders, or other legal documents
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage documents




Other Considerations


  • Open a bank account in your own name and instruct the bank not to phone you. Access the statement online or arrange for it to be sent to a different location, such as to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Store documents in a safety deposit box at a bank that your partner does not go to.
  • Save and set aside as much money as you can (e.g., take a bit of change out of grocery money if/when possible).
  • Hide extra clothing, keys, money, etc., at a friend/family member’s house.
  • Decide where you are going to go and how you will get there (e.g., by taxi or getting a ride from a friend).
  • If you use mobility devices or other equipment to accommodate a disability, consider where you can rent or borrow any needed items.
  • Connect with an agency that can help you by contacting 211 Saskatchewan.




Finding Help


Call 2-1-1, text 2-1-1, web chat or search independently through sk.211.ca to connect with services and supports in your local area. Trained professionals are here to help you find community, non-clinical health, and government services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages, are available over the phone. Need Help? It’s just a click, call or text away. Phone: Dial 211 from a landline or cell phone Web Chat: Visit sk.211.ca/contact_us to start your chat Text: Text “Hello” to 211 Out-of-province phone call: Dial 1-306-751-0397




In an Emergency


  • If you call 911 from a landline, you can leave the phone off the hook after you have dialed the number and the police will come to your location. This can be particularly useful if you have any communication difficulties.
  • A 911 call is free from cell phones.
  • Even if the phone is not activated or out of minutes, you can still call 911. However, if you call from a cellphone, the police cannot tell where you are calling from, so be sure to give them your address immediately.
  • If the abuser interrupts while you are calling 911, a tip to remember is to talk to the operator like you are ordering take out food. This way you are still able to provide your location.
  • Remember that there is no charge when dialing 911 from a pay phone.
  • For TTY access (telephone device for the deaf) press the spacebar announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.
  • If you do not speak English, tell the 911 call-taker the name of the language you speak. Stay on the line while you are connected to interpreter services that will provide assistance in your language.
  • Try to remain on the line until the 911 call-taker tells you it is okay to hang up.
Cell phones and phone cards may be available free of charge to help you remain in contact with family and friends. The SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program is available for clients of domestic violence shelters and some family violence counselling centres. Ask your counsellor for further information about the program. Remember: You can call 911 from anywhere on a charged cell phone, even if the phone is not activated or is out of minutes. Always call 911 if you feel you are in danger.





Produced through support from:

Prairieaction Foundation
Signature PrintIt
Saskatchewan

If you are in danger, call 911 immediately. 

This site is intended as a collection of resources and information regarding the Violence Link, a sensitive and real topic.

If you need assistance understanding how to safely view this site, please visit Site Safety.

© 2020, Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. All rights reserved.