Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will be able to take all of your possessions with you. Therefore, you should identify only important and essential documents and belongings that you will be able to carry around.
Some of the most important things you should take with you if you leave your abuser are listed below.
- Personal identification such as birth certificates and passports for you and your children, and your driver’s licence.
- Money such as cash or debit/credit cards. If you are using a debit or credit card, make sure it is an account that your abusive partner does not have access to. You don’t want them to be able to track where you go and what you buy.
- Important documents such as your marriage certificate, divorce papers, immigration papers, and spousal or child support agreements. Also, any documents you need to make spousal or child support applications (such as banking information and your tax forms for the past 3 years).
- Medication (if you or your children need it).
- Transportation needs such as access to the car, car keys, a bike, bus tickets, or bus pass.
- Communication needs such as your cell phone or a phone card.
- Toys to help calm your children.
- Assistive devices such as your cane, hearing aids, contact lenses, glasses, dentures, or a walker.
If possible, it is a good idea to put all of these items and documents together in advance. This way, they will all be ready to go if you have to leave in a hurry. You could leave a bag containing these important items with someone you trust nearby so that your abuser does not find it. It might also be a good idea to make photocopies of the documents and put them together so that they are ready to go. If you can’t put these items together ahead of time, make sure you know where you can find each item. Then you can quickly grab them in case of an emergency. Or, if necessary, you could tell someone else where they can find them for you.
Each person’s situation is unique. Therefore what you need to take might be different than what someone else might take.