Safety Plan

Safety Plan needs to be complete during all phases of an abusive relationship. If children are involved in the relationship, their safety should be carefully considered when designing the safety. This is especially important if the children will continue to spend time with the perpetrator. Having a plan and a support system, whether personal or professional, are be vital to the safely ending the relationship.

Safety Planning During the Relationship – Identify a safe place in your home to go to if an argument occurs. Avoid rooms with no exits (i.e. bathroom) and rooms with weapons (i.e. kitchen).  Identify a place to go if you flee your home (i.e. support, police, DV agency), and know where you can gain access to a phone.  Code words can be used with children or neighbors to let them know you need help, need the police, or are following a previously determined plan.

Safety Planning When Ending Relationship – When planning to leave the abuser try to gather all important papers such as your driver’s license, social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children, your marriage license, leases or any legal agreements with your signature, banking information (i.e. checkbook, credit cards, online pass codes), tax returns, insurance policies, and if possible proof of income for yourself and your partner.  Begin altering your daily routines such as the route for dropping the children at school, the time you leave or return from work, or changing where you purchase groceries. Have a safe place to stay.  Connect with your support system (family, friends, professionals), and the DV agency in your area. Inform your employer and the children's school. Talk with a legal advocate about obtaining a restraining order. Save all documents, text messages, emails, and phone messages, or records of phone calls from your abuser.

 

If possible bring an extra set of keys to your house and car, any medications for you and your children, and items which are personal, sentimental, or may provide comfort for you and your children during this transition.

Safety Planning Once the Relationship has Ended – Establish a new routines for yourself and your children. Have code words with your children and members of your support system to alert them of danger. If you obtained a restraining order, keep a copy on your person, report any incidents with the perpetrator to the police, and provide a copy of the order to your employer and the children's school. Develop a plan for if you are confronted by the perpetrator in public.  The drop off or pick up of children for visits with the perpetrator should be arranged in a public, well-lit area. 

 

Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.