Making a safety plan is the first step toward leaving an abuser or at least protecting yourself, if you are not ready to leave. Safety planning is thinking ahead and taking actions to increase the safety of you and your loved ones.
- Plan your escape when you are calm, not during or after a violent incident.
- Develop a plan for your children.
- Kitchens, bathrooms, closets and small spaces may be unsafe.
- Keep doors and windows locked.
- Gather items you will need if you leave and have a trusted friend store them for you. Items to gather include cash, spare keys, medications, and important documents, such as birth certificates, photo I.D., and Social Security card.
- Confide in a trusted loved one and ask if they would be available for temporary assistance 24/7.
- Teach children who they should call for help and have them memorize phone numbers. Give any court order to school/day care.
- Be safe at work. Save threatening voice and email messages from abuser. Walk in groups to lunch or parking lot.
- Make arrangements ahead of time for pets.
- Keep protective/custody orders with you always.
“Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult. But not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing…” -Maya Angelou