What is a Safety Plan?
You can’t control your partner’s abusive behavior but you can take steps to protect yourself and your children from harm. Whether you decide to stay or to end the relationship, The American Rescue Project can help you create a safety plan.
A safety plan is a personalized and practical plan that helps identify steps you can take to better protect you and your children at home, school, work and in the community. It will also help to reduce your risk of being hurt.
The changes may be big, such as going to a confidential shelter or changing schools. Or smaller changes can include changing your e-mail passwords or the route you take to work. Proactive planning on how to safely escape, protect your children, and get assistance and support can enhance your safety if a violent incident occurs.
Concrete Examples of a Safety Plan
- If you decide to remain at home, here are some helpful tips:
- Keep a list of names and numbers to call in an emergency – such as police, hospital, or family – and share it with children or others in the home who may be at risk;
- Keep an extra set of car and house keys in a secret, safe place;
- Ask neighbors to call the police if they hear strange sounds or think something is wrong in your home;
- Keep a cell phone hidden in a safe place for emergencies;
- Have a code word or sign that alerts co-workers, family, or friends that they should call the police;
- During an argument, move to a room with easy access to an exit (not the kitchen or bathroom, if possible);
- Take pictures of bruises, sign and date them; record dates and times of threatening phone calls or confrontations; and save threatening texts or answering machine messages.