What is a Safety Plan?
A safety plan is a special plan just for you that helps keep you safe no matter what. You can use a safety plan if you are still with the person who hurt you, or if you are no longer with them. A thought out safety plan will have many ways to keep you safe. The best plan is one that has all the info you need to stay safe.
There are many types of safety plans to use but your plan can be different from the ones you see online. The info below is to help you make your own plan. You know what is best for you and we only hope that this helps keep you safe. There is no right or wrong way to make a plan.
Safety Planning While Living With the Person Who is Hurting You
Only you know what the person who hurts you is able to do. Do not lessen what they are able to do to you when creating your plan. The more prepared you are, the safer you will be.
- If your partner puts their hands on you take pictures of any injuries you have. You can also take pictures if your partner breaks things in your house. These can be included in a restraining order if you decide to get one.
- If you do keep pictures, be sure to hide them so your partner cannot find them.
- Keep note of when the abuse happens, on what date and what happened. Keeping notes is useful if you want to get a restraining order.
- If you do keep notes, be sure to hide them so your partner cannot find them.
- Know where you can get help if something does happen. Try to have someone you feel safe talking to and let them know what is going on. Make up a word to text to someone to have him or her call the police for you if you need help.
- You can also set a time to check in with them to let them know you are safe.
- You can put a plan in place if you do not check in with them, like having them call 911.
- Take the time to map out your house. Decide which rooms are the safest to be in and the rooms that may be the most dangerous. Like a fire escape plan, think of ways you can get out quickly.
- Consider the things in your house that can hurt you, like knives in the kitchen.
- Try to stay out of places with no exit where you can be trapped.
- Think of the clothing or jewelry you wear. Long scarves, lanyards, neck ties or necklaces are possible items that your partner can use to hurt you.
- If you have a car, try to park it in a way that makes getting away easier. Try not to park where you have to back up.
- If you can, try to keep your gas filled up.
- Keep a first aid kit in your car just in case.
- Try to have copies of important records, an extra change of clothing and other things in a bag in your trunk if you have to leave quickly.
- Try to come up with extra plans in case your partner finds out about your safety plan. It is okay to have more than one, and to plan for any situation.
Safety Planning with Kids while living with your partner
Sometimes fights can break out when the kids are home. Be sure you consider them when making your plan.
- Try to stay away from where your kids are as accidents can happen during fights.
- Teach your kids who they can call for help and when to call.
- Teach your kids to dial 911 in an emergency. Make sure to teach them what an emergency is as well.
- Make a room in the house where they can go and be safe when violence happens. Do not use this room to hide from your partner if your kids are using it too.
- Teach the kids a safe word that tells them to go to a safe place, like a neighbor or the yard. Be sure to let them know to keep the word a secret.
- Sit down and talk to your kids about who they can trust and can go to if they need help or someone to talk to about what is going on.
- Make sure they know their phone number and name if someone else has to call them. For older kids, have them remember their address as well.
Safety Planning with Pets while living with your partner
Pets can be a part of our family too, it is important to consider them when making your safety plan as well.
- Create a list of people who can take your pets in if you need to flee your home suddenly.
- Make sure to keep copies of records of vaccines and licenses.
Safety Planning when you do not live with the person who causes harm
If you do not live with your partner or recently left them, here are some more ideas on how to stay safe.
- If your partner has the keys to your home but does not live there, you can change your locks.
- If your partner lived with you but you have a restraining order that makes your partner move out and you rent, you can ask your landlord to change your locks. Your landlord may want to see the order before they change the locks.
- Tell your neighbors to call the police if they see your partner around your home. If you live in an apartment complex and they do not live there, provide a picture to the office and tell them what to do if they see them. If you have a restraining order, provide a copy of it to them.
- If you are employed or go to school, inform them that your partner is unsafe. If you have a protective order, you can provide a copy to them as well as request safety measures while at work.
- You can ask for a shift change.
- You can ask to leave through a different door, if you have multiple exits or entrances.
- Have someone escort you to your vehicle.
- Park your vehicle closer to the exit of your work, if possible.
- Screen your calls, if possible.
- Provide the front desk with a picture of your partner and ask they be kept out of the building while you are working (may require a protective order)