Why Should I Safety Plan?
If you are currently in an abusive relationship or are being harassed by an ex-partner, it is important to plan for your safety and the safety of your children. Below are some helpful suggestions on how to safety plan but if you would like to learn more you can call our 24-Hour Hotline at 1-877-234-5050 to talk with a counselor.
Safety During An Explosive Incident
- If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area with an exit and not in the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
- Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairs would be best.
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret but accessible place so you can leave quickly.
- Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
- Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
- If the situation is very dangerous, use your own instincts and judgments to keep yourself safe. Call the police as soon as it is safe to do so. You have the ability to obtain a protection from abuse order (PFA). See our page on PFAs for more information.
Safety When Preparing to Leave
- Determine who will let you stay with them or lend you some money.
- Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust.
- Create a checklist of important items you want to take with you or use our checklist (click to view and download).
- Open a savings account in your own name to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
- Keep the shelter numbers close by and keep a cell phone or track phone with you at all times.
- Review your safety plan with an advocate at the Women’s Resource Center in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. REMEMBER: LEAVING AN ABUSER CAN BE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME.