Topic Overview

If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number.

Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read about this topic. Use a safe computer such as one at work, a friend's house, or a library.

Here are some helpful items to get together when you are planning on leaving an abusive situation. Keep these items in a safe place until you are ready to leave or in case you need to leave suddenly. If you have children, take them. And take your pets, too, if possible.

Checklist for preparing to leave an abusive situation
Identification for yourself and your children
  • Birth certificates
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) cards (or numbers written on paper if you can't find the cards)
  • Driver's licence
  • Photo identification or passport
  • Permanent resident card
Important personal papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Custody orders
  • Legal protection or protective orders
  • Health plan papers and medical cards
  • Medical records for all family members
  • Children's school records
  • Investment papers/records and account numbers
  • Work permits
  • Immigration papers
  • Rental agreement/lease or house deed
  • Car title, registration, and insurance information
  • Records of police reports you have filed, or other evidence of abuse
  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • ATM card
  • Chequebook and bankbook (with deposit slips)
  • House
  • Car
  • Safety deposit box or post office box
A way to communicate
  • Phone calling card
  • Cell phone
  • Address book
  • At least 1 month's supply for all medicines you and your children are taking, as well as a copy of the prescriptions
A way to get by
  • Jewellery or small objects you can sell, if you run out of money or stop having access to your accounts
Things to help you cope
  • Pictures
  • Keepsakes
  • Children's small toys or books

Source: U.S. National Women's Health Information Center at


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brigid McCaw, MD, MS, MPH, FACP -

Current as ofNovember 20, 2015