Earlier this week, an Amber Alert came to a chilling ending.
While the baby boy was found safe, his mother was found murdered, by a man she had a protection order against. The reality is, a protection order can’t completely protect against someone intent on doing you harm.
First, turn off the Location on your cell phone, “You’re on snapchat, you’re on facebook. If you’re posting things, it will say where you’re posting them from,” said YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program’s Trish Flanigan.
Flanigan says change your locks, and change all your account passwords. Change your phone number. On the other hand, arming yourself with a weapon has drawbacks, unless you are very skilled.
“Those weapons can be taken from you and used against you,” said Flanigan.
An abuse shelter can help you make a personal protection plan. It may include changing up your routines, schedules, the routes you drive. It may involve talking to a neighbor.
“Maybe it’s leaving the outside light on. If they see the light on, that means there’s an issue,” Flanigan said. “If they see the light off, they know to call 911.”
She says a victim’s advocate can also help determine how dangerous your ex-partner is.
“When the abusive partner says if you leave me I’m gonna kill myself, well we miss that because we say well he didn’t really threaten to harm me, but that is a huge red flag on a lethality assessment,” she said.
You can even get your mail re-routed with confidentiality.
Flanigan says it’s also important to give a copy of your protection order to your employer and to your child’s day care provider. Make sure they know what your ex-partner looks like; providing them a picture, if necessary.