Safety Planning for Abused Women and Abused Men
Whether you’ve noticed warning signs of domestic violence in your partner or spouse, or you or your children are the victims of abuse, having an established safety plan in place for you and your family is essential to your future well-being. Knowing what to do in the event of domestic violence will allow you and any other affected member of your family to act quickly and protect yourselves.
If you need a safe place to turn to or want to create your safety plan with the help of an advocate, call our 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (407) 330-3933 or (855) 655-SAFE (7233).
For victims in an abusive relationship:
- Think of a safe place to go during an argument. Avoid rooms with no exits or where weapons are accessible.
- Think about and make a list of trusted people to contact.
- Keep money with you at all times.
- Memorize important numbers (phone numbers, bank accounts, etc).
- Establish a code word or sign so family and friends know when to call for help.
- Think about what to say to your partner or spouse if he/she becomes violent.
For victims who are leaving an abusive relationship:
- Take important papers and documents with you, including social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, leases or deeds in your name, bank statements, insurance policies, etc.
- Change your phone number and block calls from your former partner.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or incidents involving your partner.
- Change your locks if your partner has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place and with someone with you.
- Vary your daily routine.
- Notify school and work contacts that you have ended the relationship.
Safety Planning Checklist
Creating a personal safety plan is a useful method to increase safety.
Before You Are Ready To Leave:
• Establish a verbal code word with family and friends to identify when you are in trouble
• Ask a neighbor to call the police if violence beings
• Hide any weapons, if safe
• Arrange for safety/care of pets
Pack an “Escape Bag” with:
• Driver’s License or photo identification
• Birth Certificates for you and your children
• Social Security cards for you and your children
• EBT card, Medicaid, insurance cards, and Financial Information,
• Checkbook, ATM card, etc.
• Money, credit cards, bank books, etc.
• Proof of income for self and partner
Legal Papers To Have With You:
• Your Injunction for Protection (if you have one)
• Lease, rental agreement, house deed
• Car registration and insurance papers
• Health and life insurance papers
• Medical records for you & your children
• Immigration papers
Other Important Items:
• Names and addresses of family members
• House, car and safety deposit box keys
• Medicines and all prescriptions (extra)
• Jewelry, glasses, dentures, contact lenses
• Pictures of you, your children and your abusive partner
• Change of clothes for you and your children (diaper bag, bottles, etc.)
• Security blanket, favorite book and toy for your child
If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, call SafeHouse’s 24 hour crisis hotline: 407-330-3933.