Should I leave my home if I am in danger?
You should always keep the safety of you and your children in mind above everything else. If you are in danger, you might want to go to a friend's house or to a shelter. Shelters are usually free and will have information about other services available in your community. If you stay with a friend or a family member, keep your location secret if possible.
It might be easier to keep your children safe if they leave with you. If you are making plans to stay in a shelter, tell them if you are planning to bring children with you.
It may also be helpful if you can bring these documents, but if you do not have them easily available, do not worry about collecting them:
- driver's license
- visas for yourself and your children (if you have them)
- birth certificates
- documents from any public assistance programs
- rental agreements
- credit cards
- paycheck stubs
- marriage license
- copies of tax returns for yourself and your partner
- information about your partner (copies of or information from his visa, green card, certificate of naturalization, passport, or other identification)
If you think you may need to leave quickly in the future, you may want to pack copies of these items in a bag and take them to a friend's home.
You do not need these items to leave. They may be helpful, but you can leave safely without them. Do not worry if you do not have time to collect them.
You might also want to view the Safety Tips pages on this website.
If you seek help at a domestic violence shelter, a rape crisis center or a courthouse, CIS is not supposed to use this against you as a reason to start a removal proceeding.