A Personal Safety Plan is a blueprint for you to follow when you leave your abuser. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, so take what you can use from our blueprint, then tailor the plan to fit your needs. We suggest you call a shelter or local law enforcement in your area, or call the National Domestice Violence Hotline for more information to assist you in personalizing your safety plan.
"An information highway for victims of domestic abuse."™
Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe.
If you are in an abusive relationship, think about. . .
Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.
Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday (see the checklist). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
Going over your safety plan often.
If you consider leaving your abuser, think about. . .
Four places you could go if you leave your home.
People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
Purchase a pre-paid cell phone or getting a cell phone.
Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.
How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
Abusers try to control their victim's lives. When abusers feel a loss of control - like when victims try to leave them - the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.
ITEMS TO TAKE, IF POSSIBLE
Keys to car, house, work
Important papers for you and your children
Social security cards
School and medical records
Bankbooks, credit cards
Passports, green cards, work permits
Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
PPO, divorce papers, custody orders
What Can Communities do to Prevent Domestic Violence?
Expand education and awareness efforts to increase positive attitudes toward nonviolence and encourage individuals to report family violence.
Form or task forces to assess the problem, develop an action plan, and monitor progress.
Mandate training in domestic violence for all social services and criminal justice professionals.
Advocate laws and judicial procedures at the state and local levels that support and protect battered women.
Establish centers where visits between batterers and their children may be supervised, for the children's safety.
Fund shelters adequately.
Recruit and train volunteers to staff hotlines, accompany victims to court, and provide administrative support to shelters and victim services.
Improve collection of child support.
Establish medical protocols to help physicians and other health care personnel identify and help victims of domestic abuse.
Provide legal representation for victims of domestic violence.
Advocate for the accessibility of services for all population groups, especially underserved populations which include immigrants and refugees, gays and lesbians, racial and ethnic minorities and the disabled.
Adapted from: "Preventing Violence Against Women: Not Just A Women's Issue," the National Crime Prevention Council, 1995.
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Copyright 2009-2012 Ina Mae Greene Foundation "For My Sisters" All rights reserved. A 501c3 Foundation.
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The information contained on this website is for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal or medical advice. We are not doctors, lawyers or law enforcement. Please do not use the information you read here as a replacement for either. Do not rely solely on what you read here to determine how you will leave your abuser. Contact a shelter, police, or victims’ service organization for help with safety planning and more information on how to leave an abusive relationship.