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Safety Planning

If you think you are in an abusive relationship, the following steps can help you plan for your safety and prepare for the possibility of more violence. Although you do not have control over your abuser's actions, you do have a choice about how to respond and how to best get you and your children to safety.


Safety during a violent incident: 

  • Know how to get out safely.  Consider what doors, windows, elevators, stairways, or fire escapes you may use.

  • Keep your money, car keys and important documents in one place so you can get them quickly.

  • Contact a neighbor that could call the police if they hear anything suspicious coming from your home.

  • Teach your children how to dial 911 during emergencies.  

  • Develop a ‘secret code’ that you can use to alert friends or children to your need for help.

  • Plan a place that you can go if you need to leave.

  • Teach some of these strategies to your children.

  • If you expect that there is going to be an argument then move to a place that has a lower risk. Try to avoid arguments in bathrooms, garage, kitchens, near weapons, or in rooms without and outside door. 

  • Use your judgment and intuition. If it feels like something is wrong, there probably is.


Safety when preparing to leave:

  • Leave money and an extra set of keys with a trusted person in case you need to leave quickly.

  • Keep copies of important papers with someone.

  • Open a personal savings account to increase your independence. 

  • Review your safety plan so that you know what you need to do.

  • Rehearse your escape plan with your children.

  • You may need a free 911-cell phone that can be provided by Family Crisis Shelter.

  • Call Family Crisis Shelter at 1-800-370-4103 or a local crisis line if you need more information about domestic violence.


 Items to take when you leave:

  • ID for you and your children.

  • Birth certificates.

  • Items of sentimental value such as family picttures or children’s favorite blankets or toys.

  • School and shot records for children.

  • Money, credit cards, bank books.

  • Drivers license and registration.

  • Passports, divorce papers, insurance papers.

  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed.

  • DFC cards, work permits, green card.

  • Social security cards.

  • Address book.

  • Keys to the home, care and/or office.

  • Family medical records and medication.

  • Clothing and hygiene items.


  Safety with an Order of Protection: 

  • Keep copies of your protective order on or near you at all times. It is only good if you have a copy at the time of an incident. 

  • Give a copy of your protective order to the police departments in the communities where you live and visit. 

  • Call Family Crisis Shelter if you have nay questions about the protective order. 

  • Inform y our employer, closest friends, family, and minister that you have a protective order in effect. 

  • If your copy of the protective order gets destroyed you can get another copy at the courthouse. If your abuser violates the protection order, you can call the police, contact your attorney, call your advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation.


Safety on the job and in public: 

  • Inform your boss, the security supervisor, and close co-workers of your situation.

  • Ask someone at work to screen your phone calls.

  • Ask someone to walk you to your car when leaving work.

  • Call 911 on the cell phone if problems occur while you are driving.

  • Shop in different places or at different time than you normally do.

  • Open a new bank account at a different bank.

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