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Checklist for Preparing to Leave an Abusive Situation
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.

Identification for yourself and your children

  • Birth certificates

  • Social Security cards (or numbers written on paper if you can't find the cards)

  • Driver's license

  • Photo identification or passport

  • Welfare identification

  • Green card

Important personal papers

  • Marriage certificate

  • Divorce papers

  • Custody orders

  • Legal protection or restraining orders

  • Health insurance 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

  • Checkbook 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

Things to help you cope

  • Pictures

  • Keepsakes

  • Children's small toys or books

Source: National Women's Health Information Center at
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