It is important to help the person develop an exit strategy. This is not only for people who are making plans to leave, but also for those who may need to leave, with little time to plan, in the future.
The person should be fully consulted to determine their future needs and have their wishes respected. Safety is paramount. Avoid putting yourself or others at risk.
Potential strategies for the individual:
- Open a personal bank account
- Leave copies of important documents (passport, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate…etc.) with a trusted person or the police
- Leave spare clothing, cash…etc. with a trusted person
- Keep resources on hand
- Have a telephone card or change for urgent phone calls
- Arrange alternative “emergency” accommodation
- Think about who to go to in an emergency
- Think about who might send them money in an emergency
- Remember to take personal possessions such as: proof of identity (e.g. passport, student ID card…etc.), medication and medical cards, cellphone or laptop, photographs, marriage/divorce papers, jewellery and clothing. However, no possessions are more important than their safety, and should be left behind if necessary.
If the individual is leaving the home:
- Police officers should accompany them if they insist on returning to collect their possessions
- Consider asking a third party to collect their possessions e.g. a social worker
- Refer them to appropriate agencies/support groups for information and assistance