Safety Planning is a crucial service that we provide for victims & survivors of domestic & sexual violence. Safety planning includes a wide variety of strategies, preparations, and arrangements that help keep people safe while they are in an abusive relationship, are planning to leave one, or have recently left. Safety planning is catered to each individual person based on their desires, needs, and resources.
For more in depth safety planning than what is listed below, call our Violence Free Crisis Line at 752-7273.
When In an Abusive Relationship
Tell your kids that, if there’s violence, their job is to stay safe, not to protect you. Find a safe place for them to stay in case of violence, such as with a neighbor or in a locked room. Teach them to call 911 and what to say to the dispatcher.
Hide money, spare keys and a small bag of clothes at work or at a friend’s house. For small children, hide a favorite toy or stuffed animal that will comfort them.
Inform your employer about the situation and develop a safety plan at work. Share a photo and description of the abuser with them and any pertinent legal documentation, such as a protection order.
Document the abuse by taking photos of bruises and injuries, tell your doctor and get copies of your medical records; save threatening voicemails, notes and emails and write each incident down in a journal.
Gather important documents or copies of documents such as passports, birth certificates, social security cards, insurance papers, work permits or green cards, ownership documents for car and/or house, checkbooks and bank account numbers. Hide these papers at work or at a friend’s house. Know the abuser’s social security number, birth date and place of birth.
Consider obtaining a protection order. It directs the abuser not to contact, communicate with, attack, sexually assault or telephone you, your children or other family members. If you have a protection order, carry a copy of it with you at all times.
When In an Abusive Relationship – When You Are Afraid
Plan the easiest escape route. Decide on a door or window to exit quickly and safely. Make sure your kids know the route and practice it with them. Have a code word so they know when to call the law enforcement.
Don’t wear necklaces or scarves – these could be used to strangle you.
Move away from the kitchen, bathroom, garage or anyplace where there are dangerous sharp objects.
Always make sure weapons are secured and that guns aren’t loaded.
Safety Tips If You Have Left Your Abuser
Change your phone number.
Screen your calls.
Document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer (make a copy of this and put it in a safe place or with a safe friend).
Change the locks on your doors if your abuser has a key.
Consider getting a post office box for your mail or participating in a confidential mailing program (if available in your state).
Open up a checking/savings account in only your name. Do not continue to use your joint account.
Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place (by the police station, coffee shop, etc).
Learn about your legal rights and options. If you have legal papers, keep copies of them with you at all times.
Tell neighbors, friends, landlords or coworkers that your abusive partner no longer lives with you. Share your safety plan with people you trust. Explain it to your children.
Tell your employer/coworkers about your situation and ask them to screen your calls, move your desk, change your work schedule/hours or accompany you to your car.
Tell the school or day care or others spending time with your children who can pick them up and who can’t. If you have a protective order, make sure they know about it.
Vary your routes to work, to school or day care, to the grocery store and other places you frequent.
Call a friend or someone else who will be supportive, when you feel down and ready to return to an abusive partner.
To access services or get information, call our Violence Free Crisis Line today at 752-7273.