Get Involved

One of the first steps in thinking about leaving a violent relationship is to make a safety plan. We suggest the following:

Safety Planning

Call a domestic violence program for support. You can reach Chest Of Hope by calling (209) 831-7889. Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)   1-800-787-3224 (TDD) find out which shelters have openings.

If you decide to leave, think about the safest time to leave and how you would get out of the house safely. Practice prior to see whether you will have difficulty getting out that way.

Keep any evidence of abuse - this will be helpful if you decide to take legal action in the future. Evidence includes: photos of bruises and injuries, ripped clothing, police documentation, threatening e-mails or voice mail messages, and medical records.

Begin saving money little by little out of the grocery budget, or from any other source you can find.

Open a savings account in your own name, and begin to establish a credit history independent of your partner.

Get a post office box and have your personal mail sent there.

Consider obtaining an Order of Protection.

Pack a bag with emergency supplies:

  • A change of clothing for yourself and each child
  • Copies of legal documents
  • Social Security card(s)
  • Identification Card(s)
  • Marriage license
  • Birth certificate(s)
  • Green card/passport(s)
  • School and vaccination records of your children
  • Bank account information
  • Extra set of keys (house, car, bank)


*** Do not leave your bag at home. Keep it at a safe place: a friend’s home, a neighbor’s house, or at work. ***

Also if there is room please add the following

Internet Safety:

At Chest of Hope, we believe that education and empowerment go hand-in-hand. And the Internet can be an incredibly useful tool for learning and sharing information. At the same time, accessing websites and engaging in social media activities does pose unintended risks. Everyone is at risk for the exposure of their personal information and if you’re not very familiar with privacy settings on various sites, you might be sharing more than you intend to. Additionally, in the case of crimes like dating abuse, stalking and domestic violence, and online activities can sometimes be tracked and used by perpetrators to control or intimidate their victims. Sexual abusers have also been known to gain access to their victims via websites and online forums.

While we encourage you to use the Internet to access information and connect with others online, we hope you do so safely. Here is a list of several resources with great content about staying safe online.

General Online Safety is a project of the National Cyber Security Alliance. NCSA's mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals’ use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets. has wonderful information about general online safety and a number of other topics.

Online Safety for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Dating Abuse or Stalking provides detailed information about digital dating abuse as well as recommendations for staying safe on social networks. has information and resource links concerning cyberstalking.

Internet Safety Resources for Parents

Child net International is a leading resource for parents who want to understand how best to keep their children safe online.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also offers information for parents through their NetSmartz website.