Protective Measures

Protective measures help prepare victims of conjugal violence to take action in the event of an incident of violence or a separation.

Planning Ahead to Better Protect Yourself

Conjugal violence exposes abused women to repeated episodes of danger and stress. In these situations, protective measures can help them protect themselves.

Protective measures are measures identified and implemented by victims of conjugal violence so that they are ready to (re)act in the face of risks related to an incident. They allow them to plan the actions to take that will favour their safety in a time of crisis.

Establishing Protective Measures

To establish protective measures, it is first necessary to identify the risks related to a potentially dangerous situation or decision. For each of these risks, the next step is to determine which resources would likely reduce them.

To be successful, protective measures should always tie in closely with the reality of the person for whom it is established. Friends, family members or victim advocates can help an abused woman as she thinks about and looks for measures. However, she alone is responsible for implementing them.

Some Examples of Protective Measures

  • Identify a place where you can be sheltered (at the home of a friend, family member or neighbour or at a women’s shelter).
  • Prepare a bag containing your personal effects (clothing, keys to the house, money, important documents, etc.), as well as those of your children, in addition to a photo of your partner to help the police identify him if necessary.
  • Place the bag in a safe, secret place (at the home of a family member, friend, or neighbour, in a shelter, etc.).
  • Tell a person you trust (friend, coworker, victim advocate, etc.).
  • Open a separate bank account registered at another address.
  • Have a reason to leave the house.
  • Plan to have cash on hand to take the bus or a taxi.
  • Explain the measure to the children, making age-appropriate adjustments to the details.

  • Make sure you have quick access to your important personal belongings, those of your children and cash to pay for the bus or a taxi.
  • Keep in mind the interior layout of the house: avoid rooms where you could be trapped or those that contain knives or weapons and identify places where you can escape.
  • Have a safe place where you can take shelter (at the home of someone you trust or in a public space).
  • Tell your children what they need to do in case of an emergency: get dressed quickly, stay near the door, call the police, take shelter at a neighbour’s house, etc.

  • Change certain habits.
  • Keep your new address secret, if possible.
  • Prevent your ex-partner from entering the house, be in his presence for the least possible amount of time and avoid speaking to him.
  • Be sure you can easily access important documents, as they may be useful for future procedures (immigration, divorce, child custody, etc.).

If you’re being stalked

  • Stay in public places or busy streets.
  • Keep a cell phone on you at all times and call the police in times of need.

If you’re being harassed

  • Keep a record of phone calls, letters and emails.
  • Let your neighbours, school and daycare centre know.
  • Change your phone number, move or put your children in another school if necessary.

If you fear for your safety, don’t hesitate to call the police at 911
or SOS violence conjugale at 514-873-9010 or 1 800-363-9010.
These services are always available.