How can a woman protect her children from an abuser?

Women caught in volatile domestic situations frequently -- and correctly -- worry about their children because in explosive situation everyone present may be at risk.

Children should never get in the middle of a fight between partners -- even if they want to help. They should be taught how to get to a safe place, such as a friend’s or neighbor’s house. Of course, children should know how to call 911 and how to give their address and phone number to the dispatcher.

A victim can inform school authorities -- the principal -- that her partner may attempt to remove her children from school. If this is the case, she can give the principal or school director a copy of the Temporary Restraining Order. School authorities should know not to release her children to anyone without contacting her first.

Sometimes, people use a coded password so that children can be confident in telephone conversations. School officials should have a photo of the husband, and when requested, should hold confidential the victim’s address or phone number.