Lisa has worked with domestic abuse victims for years, and she says it is critical to have a plan in place before you try to escape from an abusive home. As you formulate your plan, tailor it to your specific situation. "There's a different plan depending on whether you live in a farm in South Dakota or a city, like Detroit," Lisa says. "A plan has to be right for who you are, where you live, how many kids you have. So you figure out what you're going to do before you take that first step."
Next, Lisa says you should create a code word that you share with a trusted friend or family member so that if you say it, they can call the police. In addition, she says you should document your abuse in detail, so you can give specific information to the authorities when you are ready to file a police report.
It's also important to use a journal, pictures, medical records, court papers and other documentation to keep track of the abuse, which will be crucial in a court case.
To prepare for your escape, Lisa says you should hide an emergency bag with necessities— money, a checkbook, credit cards, identification for yourself and your children, car keys, medications, court papers, orders of protection and any other pertinent items.
"You want to have an emergency bag, and that bag has to be hidden. Your journal has to be hidden. Your documentation has to be hidden," Lisa says. "Not in your house, not in your car. That has to be hidden at work or with a neighbor or family member."