Making a Safety Plan

It is impor­tant to make a safety plan for you and your chil­dren if you are in an abu­sive rela­tion­ship. The sooner you do, the bet­ter pre­pared you and your chil­dren will be when vio­lence occurs.

If still in the relationship:

  • Think about a safe place to go dur­ing an argu­ment. For exam­ple, iden­tify rooms with exits.
  • Tell a friend or rel­a­tive about your sit­u­a­tion. Ask per­mis­sion to go to their place to avoid the violence.
  • Think of a code word or sign so friends, fam­ily or co-workers know when to call for help.
  • Put all impor­tant doc­u­ments in one place: driver’s license, ATM card and check­book, credit cards, bus pass, birth cer­tifi­cates, pass­port, green card…
  • Always have change and cash on you so you can leave quickly.
  • Mem­o­rize num­bers of impor­tant con­tacts: shel­ter, friends, family…
  • Give your chil­dren instruc­tions on how to stay safe. Tell them not to inter­vene or they may get hurt.

If you are think­ing about leaving:

  • Think about where you will go: a shel­ter, a friend’s, a relative’s.
  • Write down impor­tant infor­ma­tion, such as addresses and phone num­bers of com­mu­nity resources includ­ing legal resources, shel­ters and counselors.
  • Think about who you can talk to about leav­ing: a rel­a­tive or a friend.
  • Think how and when you can leave most safely.
  • Think about how you can safely travel to and from work.
  • Think about how you can pick up and drop off your chil­dren at school.
  • Think about your legal options: a restrain­ing order, cus­tody of chil­dren and vis­i­ta­tion provisions.

Child’s Safety Plan

  • Instruct the chil­dren to stay out of the par­ents’ fights, as they may get seri­ously injured.
  • Agree on a safe place to go if there is a seri­ous fight, such as a friend’s or neighbor’s house.
  • Teach them to call for help. Have them prac­tice pick­ing up the phone and call­ing 911.
  • Make sure they know their own address and phone numbers.
  • If they are at home and feel unsafe, help them deter­mine where they can go to feel safe.

There is help. You are not alone and it’s okay to talk about it!


Next: Chang­ing Your Community

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