Safety throughout the day

A comprehensive safety plan covers all your regular activities. This includes time spent in the home, in the car or on public transit, in the homes of friends and relatives, at work, and in public places such as shopping malls. The following tips may be useful:

  • Change locks (use good quality deadbolts along with knob locks and chain locks) and ensure window security especially if the offender has ever had access to your home or your keys. Make sure windows can’t be opened from the outside. If windows need to be reinforced, doweling can be used to brace them closed.
  • If threatening calls have been made, you can change your phone to an unlisted number or add a new unlisted numbered line while keeping an answering machine monitoring your old one. Monitor your calls through Call Display, plus through an answering machine. Only answer the phone when you are positive who is calling, and otherwise only return calls to people who have left messages. In cases involving violence and intimidation, the telephone company may be willing to waive certain fees. Do not erase messages from the answering machine. Keep the tapes. Do not answer the phone when he calls, or if the callers number is blocked.
  • Keep a journal of all dates, times and events to do with feeling threatened, being abused, stalked or harassed.
  • Keep a listing of community resources handy.
  • Preprogram your phones with emergency numbers (including RCMP).
  • Place caller ID system on your home telephone to screen calls. This can be very helpful for children, particularly if they are told to answer only when the number displayed is one which you have taught them is safe (e.g. your work number, your doctor, close friends and relatives).
  • A security chain should be fitted to all entry doors and used at all times when the door is answered by you or your children. Make sure it is solidly secured.
  • Improve visibility around your house by altering gardens and landscapes nearby, and having motion-lights and perhaps video cameras installed.
  • Keep your cell phone on hand, even when the other phones in the home are working, in the event that the telephone lines are cut.
  • Plan for extra safety between leaving your car and entering your home. If you have a garage, an automatic opener and safety lighting may also be helpful. Environmental risks presented by shrubs, trees and breezeways may be reduced through strategic lighting, or even through removal if posing a direct risk.
  • Install a security system in your house.
  • Get a dog that will bark when strangers come to the house. Post a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign at the end of your driveway, even if your dog is friendly or even if you don’t HAVE a dog! The sign will make people think twice before entering your yard or trying to enter your house.
  • Stay with other people in public and well-lit places-don’t walk alone or in isolated places.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Cooperate with RCMP fully (if you have chosen to report) so that their file is complete and thorough. Then when you call in a crisis, they are familiar with the offender and your situation, and can respond accordingly.

This information is compliments of Northern Society for Domestic Peace