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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