Safety Planning

Trust Your Intuition

  • In Your Home
  • In Your Car
  • Self-Defense Measures

Remember that you are the expert on how to keep you and your children safe.

There are many things that people can do to increase their safety in her own homes. It may be impossible to do everything at once, but safety measures can be added step by step.

General Safety Measures:

A. I can change the locks on my doors and windows as soon as possible.
B. I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, and electronic system, etc.
C. I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.
D. I can install smoke detectors and purchase fire extinguishers for each floor in my house/apartment.
E. I can install an outside lighting system that lights up when a person is coming close to my house.
F. I will teach my children how to use the telephone to make a collect call to me and to ________________ (friend /other) in the event that my partner takes the children.
G. I will tell people who take care of my children, who has permission to pick them up, and that my partner is not allowed to. The people I will inform about pick-up permission include: School, Daycare Staff, Babysitter, Teacher, Other.
H. I can inform _______________ and ________________ that my partner no longer resides with me and they should call the police if he / she is observed near my residence.

Safety During a Violent Incident:

I can use some or all of the following strategies:

A. If I decide to leave, I will _____________________ (practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells, or fire escapes would you use?)
B. I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them _________________ in order to leave quickly.
C. I can tell ________________ about the violence and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my house.
D. I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact the police and the fire department.
E. I will use __________________ as my code word with my children or my friends so they can call for help.
F. If I have to leave my home, I will go to ________________ (Decide this even if you don’t think there will be a next time).
G. When I expect we are going to have an argument, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as _________________. (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons or in rooms without access to an outside door.)
H. I will use my judgment and intuition. If the situation is very serious, I can try to calm my partner down. I have to protect myself until I/we are out of danger.

Safety When Preparing To Leave:

Leaving must be done with a careful plan in order to increase safety. Batterers often strike when they believe that their partner is leaving the relationship.

A. I will leave money and an extra set of keys with ____________ so I can leave quickly.
B. I will keep copies of important documents or keys at ________________.
C. I will open a savings account by __________________.
D. The domestic violence program’s hotline number is 536-1659, I can seek shelter by calling this hotline.
E. I understand that if I use my home or cell phone, my abuser may see the phone numbers I have called. As an additional safety step to keep my telephone communications confidential, I could either use a neighbor or friend’s phone.
F. I will check with ____________________ and ____________________ to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money.
G. I can leave extra clothes with ___________________.
H. I will rehearse my escape plan, and as appropriate, practice it with my children.

Items to Take When Leaving:

  • Identification for yourself
  • Children’s birth certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • School & vaccination records
  • Money
  • Checkbook/ATM card
  • Credit cards
  • Keys
  • Driver’s license & registration
  • Medications
  • Welfare identification
  • Green Cards
  • Passport(s)
  • Divorce papers
  • Medical records—for all family members
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book
  • Bank books
  • Insurance papers
  • Small saleable objects
  • Address books
  • Pictures
  • Jewelry
  • Children’s favorite toys and/or blankets
  • Items of sentimental value