A safety plan is a strategy to avoid harm by escaping or hiding from a dangerous
situation and getting help. Depending on the situation, you many not be able to
get away from your attacker and may need to find a place to hide until help arrives
or your attacker leaves. It is best to find safe places, we call these safe havens, and
escape routes for every room in your home. In addition, you should create a plan
for work, school or other places you may be in danger.
If you decide to write out a safety plan, be sure to keep it in a place where your
partner cannot find it. If possible, practice getting out of the house and using your
safe havens so you will be familiar with your escape routes and you can be
confident your safe havens are really safe.
Think about these things before you create your safety plan. Try to account for
your abusers behavior and your ability to really get to safety when your life
depends on it. Create a code word. Create a reason to call a friend or family
member and casually use the code word. This alerts them there is a problem and
to call police and help you get to safety. This is just one safe strategy that can help
save your life.
- Are there weapons in the house?
- Where are the phones?
- Are phones kept charged?
- Can you keep a cell phone on you at all times?
- What rooms have locked doors?
- Is there something to put in front of a door to keep your abuser out or to give
you time to escape?
- Where are your closest exits?
- Where are you when he gets mad?
- What time of the day does the abuse happen?
- Who is close by and can hear you?
- What neighbors can you go to?
- Who is home around you when the abuse happens?
- How close is the nearest police or fire station?
- Where is the closest business?
- What businesses are open when the abuse usually happens?
- Do you have a car that you can get to?
- Are you alone?
- Where are the children when it happens?
- Can you get the children out safely?
- Can you get the children to safety?
- Are there dogs or other pets to get out or that can cause safety issues?
- Is there anyone around that may keep you from getting to safety?
You may be at risk if you pack a bag and your abuser finds it. You may not be able
to get all the things you need ready in time if you decide to leave. If you are able
to pack or are able to grab things when you plan to leave or when the police arrive,
take as many of the following items as you can.
- Order of Protection and other important legal documents
- ATM card, money/cab fare, check book, credit card,
- Passport, green card, work permit, public Assistance ID
- Driver's license & registration
- Social security card
Plan to be safe. Seek the help and guidance of a spiritual leader, domestic
violence advocate, police or safety officer, friend or family member. You are loved
and help is here.