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Other important considerations for women in rural or remote areas

Communication

Most of us now take cell phones and the internet for granted, but you might live in an area that has limited internet connectivity or unreliable cell phone service. This can make it challenging for you to call for help quickly or to gather information or stay in touch with friends.

  • If you live in an area with cell phone reception, have a cell phone with key numbers pre-programmed into it.
  • Consider having a second cell phone that your ex-partner does not know about, so even if he takes one phone away from you, you have another you can use.
  • Teach your children how to use your cell phone or, if they are old enough, how to use their own cell phone, to call for help in an emergency.
  • Keep a landline phone even if you have a cell phone. If possible, get a cordless system with several phones so you can carry one around with you. Make sure you know how far outside the house this phone will get reception.
  • Get to know your property and the areas where your cell phone reception is the strongest.

Animals

No one wants to leave a beloved animal behind when leaving a relationship. You may have pets that mean a great deal to you, but you may also have farm animals you care about and/or rely on financially, and you may be reluctant to leave if you have concerns about their well-being in the hands of your partner.

If you have farm animals, try to find someone you trust who could take care of them if you have to leave in an emergency (for example, a neighbour who also farms who could, if necessary, shelter the animals at their farm; the local veterinarian; a non-farming friend to whom you can teach the essentials of animal care).

If you have animals as pets, find a friend or neighbour who can take them in for a short period of time. The local vet or humane society may also be able to help in this situation.

Be prepared to leave animals behind if you need to get to safety quickly. You can put a plan in place for them once you are safe.

Money

If you don’t have your own bank account, consider opening one before you leave your partner.

If at all possible, open your own account at a different bank from the one where you bank with your partner.

Whenever you can do so safely, put some money into this account, even if it is just a small amount.

Consider getting a credit card in your own name. Make arrangements with a trusted friend or family member to use their address for this, so the credit card does not come to the home you share with your partner. Keep the credit card in a safe and private place.

Find out your credit rating. Ensure that the information is accurate and will not hinder any future plans you may have involving your finances.

Moving

Talk to a lawyer before you move with your children any distance from where you have lived with your partner. Even if you need to move for safety reasons or to be closer to support from your family, you should find out the possible legal consequences before you make the move. The law does not permit either parent to unilaterally move the children out of the jurisdiction where they have been living.

Learn more about moving with children.

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