What you can do to keep yourself safe from abuse

Stay involved. Know your rights.

Abuse happens to people of all ages from all walks of life. By staying involved with people and activities, you are less likely to be abused. Staying active and involved also helps you stay healthy. People in your community need you as much as you need them.

These are some things you can do to look after your physical and emotional health and well-being.

  • Stay connected! Be in regular contact with people who support you and respect your decisions.

  • Get involved! Find places in your community that offer activities and events where you can meet people.

  • Reach out to others! Help to make a more caring community.

  • Have fun! Do things that give you enjoyment, strength, and comfort.

  • Stay physically active! Keep moving. Eat regularly and well.

  • Get support! If you feel depressed, talk to a friend, faith leader, or social service agency in your community. You don't have to be alone with problems. Ask for help.

Pay attention to your finances

Your peace of mind about financial security is important. Stay involved in and aware of what is happening with your money and belongings.

  • If people are pressuring you in any way about your money or property, remind them that you have the right to make your own decisions even when they don't agree. Ask them to respect your choices.

  • Think about your future. Consult a lawyer about future planning, powers of attorney, personal directives, caregiving arrangements, and your will. Share your plan and wishes with someone you trust.

  • Open and send your own mail.

  • Review your bank statements every month and contact the bank if you see anything unexpected.

  • Keep your financial information and other important documents in a safe place. Tell someone you trust where to find the information.

Learn about safety planning

If you are living in an abusive relationship, a safety plan can help you live more safely day to day. It can also help you to plan a safer way to make changes or leave the situation. Leaving is the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship, so it's important to plan well. DO NOT tell the abusive person about your plan.

A local shelter, police, or victim services office can help you create a good safety plan. Here are some basic steps:

  • Arrange for regular home visits and telephone contact with friends, family, or service providers.

  • Have emergency money and a prepaid phone card somewhere outside of the home.

  • Give copies of important documents and keys to trusted friends or family members.

  • Pack a bag of extra clothing, medicine, and personal aids (glasses, hearing aids, etc.)—whatever you would need to manage for a few days if you decide to leave. Give the bag to a trusted friend or family member.

  • Keep phone numbers of friends, relatives, shelters, or other trusted individuals in a convenient place.

  • Have a safety word that will let a trusted friend or family member know if you are in danger.

Privacy Terms Crown copyright © 2012, Province of Nova Scotia. Updated: 2013-04-07