Safety Planning

Steps to Take Before Leaving

  • Have a packed bag ready and keep it at a trusted relative’s or friend’s home in order to leave quickly.  The bag should contain items such as money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines and clothes.
  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
  • Open a savings account and/or credit card in your own name to establish or increase your independence.
  • Call your local shelter for further information, resources, other safety precautions, and/or legal protective measures.
  • Review your safety plans often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your abuser.  If you can safely, keep a journal of the abusive incidents.

Safety Prior to a Violent Incident

  • Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card with you at all times for emergency phone calls.
  • Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best for escape.   Practice how tog et out of your home.
  • Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave your home (even if you don’t think you need to).
  • Identify one or 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 code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
  • If a violent episode seems unavoidable, try to move into a room or area where you have access to an exit.  Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else weapons might be readily available.
  • Use your own instincts and judgement.  If the situation is very dangerous, protect yourself the best you can and then call the police as soon as possible.  You have a right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.