Safety Planning

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Leaving a Violent Relationship

The most violent time in an abusive relationship is when the victim leaves.  Know the plan for staying safe!  Here are some options to consider:

  • Know the abuser’s schedule so you know when it’s safe to leave.

  • Going to the shelter.

  • Secure your new home – install motion sensor lights on the corners of the residence, install new dead bolts, trim shrubs, keep blinds/windows, and drapes closed, don’t move to a secluded area, keep your new address confidential.

  • Stay off of social networking sites.

  • If you have an e-mail account, change your password every 30 days.

  • Obtain a protective order.

  • Change your routes to/from work and any daily routines that the abuser knows of.

  • Secure any accounts – open new bank accounts at a new bank if necessary and tell bank manager under no circumstances can anyone access your account without your permission and have them flag your account with that information. 

  • Obtain a PO Box.

  • Get a new/alternate cell phone.

  • Safety plan with your children – let them know its okay to call 911.

  • Keep loved ones informed – let them know if you are going somewhere, where you are going, when you will return.

  • Be prepared to call 911 in any circumstance.

  • Have a bag packed – keep a bag packed in your car (or at a trusted family/friend’s house) and ready to go…extra clothes, a second set of car keys, extra cell phone charger, any important documents (i.e. birth certificate(s), social security cards, passports).

  • Document and keep such documentation – keep a notebook to document any contact with the abuser, keep all e-mails, texts, any correspondence.

 

Staying In A Relationship

There are many reasons why a victim stays in a relationship where domestic violence occurs.  There are things you can do to stay safe.  Here are some options to consider:

  • Call 911 anytime an incident occurs.  If you do not feel safe and believe that it could escalate, do not hesitate to call.

  • Tell your children that their job is to stay safe and to call 911.  Their job is not to protect you.

  • Let family, friends, co-workers know the situation you are in.  Develop a code word or phrase that you can tell someone.  So, if you are on the phone with them, they can call 911 for you.

  • Keep your cell phone fully charged and on you at all times, along with a set of car keys.

  • Keep any photos depicting any physical abuse and keep them in a safe, secondary location.

  • Keep a journal of all violent incidents and threats.

  • If an incident escalates and you can safely get out, do so, and get to your vehicle.  Back it into the driveway, so you can escape quickly.

  • If you cannot safely get out of the residence, do not get trapped in the kitchen or bathroom.  The kitchen has accessible weapons and the bathroom has hard surfaces where you can sustain a head injury.