Safety plans help survivors anticipate the dangers they could face. Before you attempt to leave or take any legal or financial steps to separate from your abuser, you should be aware that the danger of violence escalates when an individual attempts to leave. No survivor/victim has control over their partner’s violence, but you can find ways to reduce your risk of harm. This safety plan is a tool to assist you in identifying options, evaluating those options, and committing to a plan to reduce your risk when confronted with the threat of harm or with actual harm. Make it your own, then review it regularly and make changes as needed.
Suggestions for increasing safety – in the relationship
* I will have important phone numbers available to my children and myself.
* I can tell these two people about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my home:
______ and ______
* When I expect my partner and I are going to argue, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as:
* If I leave my home, I can go (list four places):
* I can leave extra money, car keys, clothes, and copies of documents with:
* To ensure safety and independence, I can: Open my own savings account; rehearse my escape route with a support person; and review safety plan on: ___________(date).
Suggestions for increasing safety – when the relationship is over
* I can: change the locks; install steel/metal doors, install a security system, install smoke detectors and an outside lighting system.
* I will inform at least two people that my partner no longer lives with me and ask them to call the police if s/he is observed near my home or my children. They are:
_______ and _______.
* I will tell people who take care of my children the names of those who have permission to pick them up. The people who have permission are:
* I can tell one person at work about my situation:
* I can avoid stores, banks, and other places that I used when living with my abusive partner.
* I can obtain a protective order. I can keep it on or near me at all times as well as leave a copy with:
* If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation, I can call someone for support or attend workshops and support groups to gain support and strengthen my relationships with other people. I can call:
Important phone numbers:
Items to take when leaving
* Birth certificates for me and my children
* Social Security cards
* School and medical records
* Money, bankbooks, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards
* Keys – house/car/office
* Driver’s license and vehicle registration
* Change of clothes
* Public assistance ID/Medicaid cards
* Passport(s), Green Card(s), work permit(s)
* Divorce or separation papers
* Lease/rental agreement, house deed
* Mortgage/car payment book, current unpaid bills
* Insurance papers
* Address book
* Pictures, jewelry, items of sentimental value
* Children’s favorite toys and/or blankets, stuffed animals
* Personalized Safety Plan
Keep your plan in a safe place and other resources
* If you are unable to find a safe place to keep a written safety plan where your partner won’t find it, maybe you can ask a friend to keep a copy for you. If not, you can ask the local domestic violence program to keep your plan for you. Whether it is safe to write down your plan or not, it’s still very important to think through one.
* Local domestic violence programs, such as Rose Brooks Center, are a vital resource providing free and confidential assistance to adults and children. They provide emergency safety services, such as shelter and 24-hour crisis hotlines: (816) 861-6100 or (816) – HOTLINE. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-SAFE. You don’t have to stay in a shelter to get help from a program. Rose Brooks also provides a full range of non-residential services to adults in abusive relationships.
* Domestic violence advocates have accurate information and are experienced in providing assistance to adults and their children. They understand the criminal justice, family court and social service systems, and they are familiar with other community resources that might be useful to you.
* In addition to giving you good information, advocates often can accompany you to court, to the police station or to the social services offices. They can provide you practical and emotional support. Getting help from someone who has experience working with survivors of domestic violence and who knows how to work with the different systems can make things a lot easier for you.