Safety with The ADT AWARE® Program:
Protection for Abused Women
Since 1992, ADT Security Services, Inc., has offered a life-saving program to address the scourge of domestic violence. The ADT AWARE® program, which stands for Abused Women's Active Response Emergency, is a coordinated effort among ADT Security Services, representatives of local law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices and battered women's shelters. ADT donates and installs electronic security systems in the homes of victims of domestic violence.
The systems include a hold-up alarm pendant, which can be worn or carried with the victim while in the home. In the event of an imminent attack, the victim can press the button on the pendant, sending an immediate, silent alarm to ADT, which in turn notifies the appropriate police agency. Law enforcement agencies participating in the AWARE® program have agreed to respond to these AWARE® alarms on a priority basis.
ADT donates the equipment, installation and monitoring of the AWARE® systems. There is no charge whatsoever to either the victims or the community. Agencies within the community are asked to simply set criteria for selection of victims who are at the highest level of risk for lethal attack by their batterers. The criteria typically require the victim:
- be in imminent danger of attack,
- have a restraining order or other order of protection against the abuser, and
- be willing to prosecute and testify against the batterer in a court of law if he's apprehended as a result of the use of the ADT security system.
Safety With a Protective Order...
- Keep your protective order on you at all times
- Call police if your partner breaks the protective order.
- Keep a diary detailing any contact, threats, messages, or letters. Save phone message tapes.
- Think of alternative ways to stay safe if the police do not respond right away.
- Give copies of your Protective Order to everyone listed on the order along with family, friends, and neighbors who are willing to help you.
Safety When Preparing to Leave...
- Open a savings account in your own name to establish your independence. Give the bank a safe address, such as a post office box or a work address. Think of other ways to increase your independence.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
- Decide who you could stay with and who might loan you some money.
- Keep the shelter's phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergencies.
- Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. Leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.
- If you must leave your children, recover them as soon as possible. Courts tend to give custody to a parent who physically has the children. Seek legal advice or call a domestic violence agency if there are no current child custody orders.
Safety When Living on Your Own...
- Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
- Call your local phone company to ask for an unlisted phone number. This service may be free of charge.
- Create a safety plan with your children for times when you are not with them.
- Inform your children's school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.
- Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him or her near your home.
Safety on the Job and in Public...
- Decide whom at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a picture of your batterer if possible.
- Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus, or train. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while you were on your way home.
Your Safety and Emotional Health...
- If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
- If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
- Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
- Read books, articles, and poems to help you feel stronger.
- Decide whom you can call to talk freely and openly to give you the support you need.
- Plan to attend a women's or victim's support group to gain support from others and learn more about yourself, domestic violence, and relationships.
CHECKLIST: What You Need to Take With You When You Leave...
[ ] Identification, driver's license, car registration
[ ] Court orders, restraining orders
[ ] Birth certificates for you and your children
[ ] Police reports / documentation of previous abuse
[ ] Money
[ ] Bank books and / or bank account numbers
[ ] Checkbooks, credit cards, ATM card
[ ] Lease / rental agreement, house deed
[ ] Medical, life, and auto insurance papers
[ ] House and car keys, pink slip
[ ] Medications
[ ] Small saleable objects
[ ] Address book
[ ] Pictures
[ ] Medical records for all family members
[ ] Social Security card
[ ] Welfare identification
[ ] School and immunization records
[ ] Work permits / identification
[ ] Passport or "Green Card"
[ ] Divorce papers / marriage license
[ ] Jewelry
[ ] Children's clothing and small toys
[ ] Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses
[ ] Other:______________________________
These things are not as important as the lives of you
and your children!
WHEN IN DOUBT – GET OUT!!