|Personalized Safety Plan
The following steps demonstrate my personal plan for increasing my safety and preparing in advance for the possibility of
future violence. I know that I do not have control over my partner's violence, however, I do have a choice about how to respond
to him/her and to prepare to get myself and my children to safety.
|Step 1. Safety During a Violent Incident
A. If an argument begins and I sense that it will escalate to violence, I can move to a safer room such
(Try to avoid areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and those without access to an outside door).
B. If I decide it is not safe to stay, I can _________________________________________________________________________________
(Practice your escape route so you are prepared if you need to leave.)
C. I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them __________________________________________________ so I can leave quickly.
D. I can keep a bag ready and put it ________________________________________ so I will have my necessary items when I leave. The bag will include
E. I can use _______________________________ as my code word to tell my family, friends, or children to call for help.
F. I can tell _______________________________________________ and __________________________________________________
about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my home or if I give them my code word.
G. I can teach my children these safety strategies to use when my partner becomes abusive:
H. If I have to leave my home, I can go ______________________________________________________________________ or
______________________________________________ or ___________________________________________________.
I. I can use my instincts, intuition, and judgment. I will do what is necessary to protect myself (and my children) until we are out of danger.
|Step 2. Safety When Preparing to Leave
A. I can leave money, a change of clothing, and an extra set of keys with _____________________________________________
________________________ in case I must leave quickly.
B. I can keep copies of important documents at _______________________________________________________________.
These important documents will include _____________________________________________________________________
C. I can open a bank account by this date: ___________________ to increase my financial independence. (If you and your partner currently have
an account together, open this one at another bank.)
D. Other things I can do to increase my independence are _______________________________________________________
E. The domestic violence crisis line number is __________________. Another number is _______________. I know that I can call collect if I do
not have change and that the crisis line is answered 24-hours a day. I also know that if I call from my home phone, my abuser may press redial. To
maintain my confidentiality, I will dial another number when I hang up with the crisis line.
F. I can check with ______________________________________ and ___________________________________________
and _________________________________________ to know who could let me stay with them or lend me some money.
G. I can review my safety plan every _______________________ so that I know the safest way to leave my home. I can review my plan with
H. I can rehearse my escape plan and code word and, as appropriate, practice it with my children.
|Step 3: Safety at Home, if my Partner is not Living in the Home
A. I can take action to increase my safety and my children's safety in my home. Safety measures can include:
B. I can tell my neighbors ________________________________ and _____________________________________ and
_____________________________ that my partner should no longer be at my home and that if they see him, to call 911.
C. I can teach my children to ______________________________________________________________________________
if my partner comes to the house uninvited or if I am unavailable.
D. I can teach my children to call 911 for help.
E. I can teach my children how to use the phone to make collect calls to me and to _____________________________________
and ____________________________________ and _________________________________________ in case my partner tries to take
them from home.
F. I can inform people who care for my children who has permission to pick them up. These people include
____________________________________________ and ________________________________________________ and
____________________________________________ and ___________________________________________________.
G. I can file a protective order.
|Step 4: Safety With a Protective Order
A. I can keep my protective order ____________________________________________. I also always keep one with me in my
B. If my protective order is destroyed I know I can go to the county courthouse and get another copy.
C. I can give a copy of my PFA to _________________________________________________________________________.
D. If my partner violates the protective order, I can _____________________________________________________________
E. If the police are not responsive, I can _____________________________________________________________________.
F. I can inform _______________________________________ and _____________________________________________
and _______________________________________________ that i have a protective order in effect.
|Step 5: Safety on the Job and in Public
A. I can tell my boss, security, and _________________________________________ at work about my situation.
B. I can ask ____________________________________________ to help me screen my phone calls or use voice mail.
C. I can ask ____________________________________________ to watch for me to arrive at work.
D. When I am ready to leave work, I can _____________________________________________________________________
E. If problems occur while I am driving I can __________________________________________________________________
F. If I am riding the bus and I see my partner I can ______________________________________________________________
G. I can shop at a different grocery store and shopping malls at different hours than I did when I was with my partner.
H. I can also do the following if I run into my partner _____________________________________________________________
|Step 6: Safety and Drug or Alcohol Consumption
The use of alcohol or other drugs can reduce awareness, ability to think clearly and ability to protect yourself from the abusive partner. In addition,
the abusive partner may use drugs and alcohol as an excuse for his/her violent behavior. Because of this, it is important to consider safety and
devise a specific plan in the event that alcohol or any other drugs are consumed.
A. If I am going to use alcohol or drugs, I can do it in a safe place with people who understand the risk of violence and who are committed to my
B. I can also _________________________________________________________________________________________.
C. If my partner is using alcohol or drugs, I can ________________________________________________________________
D. I can also __________________________________________________________________________________________
E. To protect my children I can ____________________________________________________________________________
|Step 7: Safety and Emotional Well-Being
A. If I feel depressed, sad, or discouraged and am ready to return to a potentially abusive situation/partner, I can
B. I can call the following people and/or places for support: _____________________________________________
C. When I have to talk to my partner in person or on the phone I can ______________________________________
D. Things I can do to make me feel better are _______________________________________________________
Safety Tips For You And Your Family
IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, CALL 911
or your local police emergency number
To find out about help in your area, call:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser,
there are things you can do to make yourself and your family safer.
IN AN EMERGENCY
If you are at home & you are being threatened or attacked:
**Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, like knives, there);
**Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you;
**Get to a room with a door or window to escape;
**Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can;
**Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help;get the dispatcher's name;
**Think about a neighbor or friend you can run to for help;
**If a police officer comes, tell him/her what happened; get his/her name & badge number;
**Get medical help if you are hurt;
**Take pictures of bruises or injuries;
**Call a domestic violence program or shelter; ask them to help you make a safety plan.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AT HOME
**Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers;
**Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you
at all times;
**If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows;
**Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children;
**Think about where you would go if you need to escape;
**Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the
police, for example, if the phone rings twice, a shade is pulled down or a light is on;
**Pack a bag with important things you'd need if you had to leave quickly; put it in a safe place, or give it to a
friend or relative you trust;
**Include cash, car keys & important information such as: court papers, passport or birth certificates, medical
records & medicines, immigration papers;
**Get an unlisted phone number;
**Block caller ID;
**Use an answering machine; screen the calls;
**Take a good self-defense course
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SAFER
**Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help;
**Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address & phone number to the police;
**Teach them who to call for help;
**Tell them to stay out of the kitchen;
**Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your
children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give
them a photo of the abuser;
**Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser;
**Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF OUTSIDE THE HOME
**Change your regular travel habits;
**Try to get rides with different people;
**Shop and bank in a different place;
**Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank;
**Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you at all times;
**Keep a cell phone & program it to 911 (or other emergency number).
HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SAFER AT WORK
**Keep a copy of your court order at work;
**Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work;
**Tell your supervisors - see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you;
**Don't go to lunch alone;
**Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus;
**If the abuser calls you at work, save voice mail and save e-mail;
**Your employer may be able to help you find community resources.
USING THE LAW TO HELP YOU
Protection or Restraining Orders
**Ask your local domestic violence program who can help you get a civil protection order and who can help you
with criminal prosecution;
**Ask for help in finding a lawyer;
**In most places, the judge can:
~Order the abuser to stay away from you or your children
~Order the abuser to leave your home
~Give you temporary custody of your children & order the abuser to pay you temporary child support
~Order the police to come to your home while the abuser picks up personal belongings
~Give you possession of the car, furniture and other belongings
~Order the abuser to go to a batterers intervention program
~Order the abuser not to call you at work
~Order the abuser to give guns to the police
**If you are worried about any of the following, make sure you:
~Show the judge any pictures of your injuries
~Tell the judge that you do not feel safe if the abuser comes to your home to pick up the children to visit with
~Ask the judge to order the abuser to pick up and return the children at the police station or some other safe
~Ask that any visits the abuser is permitted are at very specific times so the police will know by reading the
court order if the abuser is there at the wrong time
~Tell the judge if the abuser has harmed or threatened the children; ask that visits be supervised; think about
who could do that for you
~Get a certified copy of the court order
~Keep the court order with you at all times
**Show the prosecutor your court orders;
**Show the prosecutor medical records about your injuries or pictures if you have them;
**Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer);
**Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries or abuse;
**Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if the abuser is getting out of jail.
BE SAFE AT THE COURTHOUSE
**Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you don't have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don't have to
talk to the abuser's family or friends if they are there;
**Bring a friend or relative with you to wait until your case is heard;
**Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the abuser and ask him/her to look out for you;
**Make sure you have your court order before you leave;
**Ask the judge or the sheriff to keep the abuser there for a while when court is over; leave quickly;
**If you think the abuser is following you when you leave, call the police immediately;
**If you have to travel to another state for work or to get away from the abuser, take your protection order with
you; it is valid everywhere;
(copied and pasted from http://www.abanet.org/tips/dvsafety.html)