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Safety Planning

Your safety is our priority and is crucial, here are some ideas when needed to seek safety


Quick Safety Checklist of What
You Will Need:

       Driver's licence

       Children's birth certificates &

       social security cards

       Your birth certificate & social security card

       Welfare/Food Stamp identification

       Insurance information/cards



       Money and/or credit cards

       Bank books

       Check books



       Your protective order (EPO/DVO)

       Custody papers

       Lease, rental agreement, house deed

       Car registration and insurance papers

       Health and life insurance papers

       Medical records (you & children)

       School records

       Work permits/Green card/VISA


       Divorce papers



       Keys to house/car/office


       Jewelry/items of sentimental value

      Address book/important phone numbers

      Phone card

      Pictures of you, children, and abuser

      Children's favorite small toys/blankets


      Change of clothes for you & children


Not in our area?

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)


Safety During an Explosive Incident


If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area where you have access to an exit. Try to stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else where weapons, or objects that can be used as weapons, might be available.


Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best.


Identify one of more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.


Devise a "codeword" to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police. (This idea can also be used for social media sites, text messaging, telephone communications, etc.)


Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don't think you will need to).


Have a packed bag ready and keep it hidden or at a relative's or friend's home in order to leave quickly.


Use your own instincts and judgment, especially if the situation is very dangerous. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.





Safety when Preparing to Leave


Open a savings account and/or a credit card in your own name to start to establish or increase independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.


Get your own post office box. You can privately receive checks and letters to begin your independence.


Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines and clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.


Determine who would be able to let you stay with them, lend you some money, or keep your pet.


Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls.


Remember: LEAVING YOUR ABUSER IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME. Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave.



Safety in Your Own Home


Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.


Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.


Inform your children's school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.


Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him or her near your home.



Safety with a Protective Order


KEEP YOUR PROTECTIVE ORDER ON YOU AT ALL TIMES. (When you change your purse, that should be the first thing that goes in it.) Give a copy to a trusted neighbor or family member.


Call the police if your partner violates the order.


Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.


Inform family, friends, neighbors, employer, physician, minister, etc. that you have a protective order in effect.



Safety on the Job and in Public


Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a picture of your abuser, if possible, or at least a detailed description (details including height, weight, tattoos if any, piercings if any, typical clothes the abuser may wear, vehicles they may be in, are extremely helpful).


Arrange to have an answering machine, caller ID, or a trusted friend or relative screen your calls, if possible. (Cell phones can record audio for live conversation as well.)


Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus, or other transporation and wait with you until you are safely on your way. Use a variety of routes to go home by, if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home in your car, bus, etc.



Your Safety and Emotional Health


If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.


If you have to communicate with your partner, determind the safest way to do so.


Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs. Read books, articles, and poems to help you feel stronger.


Decide who you can call to talk freely and openly to give you support.


Plan to attend a women's or victim's support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.



Teen Dating Violent Relationship


Decide which friend, teacher, school counselor, relative or police officer you can tell.


Call any domestic violence shelter. They can help you learn about your relationship.


Get information about legal rememdies from the local police or court.

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