General Safety Plan:
- Identify a variety of ways to get out of the home safely and practice using your escape route.
- Pack a bag with medications, important documents, money, keys, etc. and hide it. Consider changing the hiding spot if your abuser searches the home.
- Arrange a signal with neighbors to let them know when you need help (turning on a porch light during the day, pulling down a particular window shade).
- Devise a code word to use with your children, grandchildren, friends or others to indicate that you need the police.
- Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave (even if you don’t think you will need to).
Safety in Explosive Incidents:
- Try to go to a room or area with access to an exit. Avoid rooms with no outside doors or those containing potential weapons (kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom, and garage).
- Inform law enforcement if weapons are in the home.
- Visualize your escape route and be prepared to use it if a safe opportunity arises.
- Use your code word or special signal to tell your children or neighbors to call 911.
- Use your instinct and judgement to safely access what to do next.
Safety in Public:
- (Safety in school, work or social, recreational, and volunteer activities)
- Decide who to inform of your situation (school, office, or building security), and provide a picture of your abuser. Consider having your phone calls screened.
- Devise a safety plan for hen you are out in public. Have someone escort you to your car, bus or taxi. Use a variety of routes to go home and consider what you would do if something happened on your way home.
Safety When Leaving:
- Open a savings account in your own name at a different bank. Consider direct deposit of your paycheck or benefit check. Begin to increase your independence.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone your trust.
- Have your abusers social security number and license plate number with you to provide to police.
- Bring medications, prescriptions, hearing aids, glasses, etc.
- Determine who will let you stay with them and lend you money.
- Keep the domestic violence program number with you and have some change at all times for emergency phone calls.
- If you are 60 years or older, contact Adult Protective Services to learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services.
- Review your safety plan regularly to plan the safest way to leave.
Safety in Your Own Home (If your abuser does not live with you):
- Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows. Consider increasing your outside lighting.
- If you have children or other dependents living with you, discuss a safety plan for when you are not with them. Inform their school, day care, etc. about who has permission to pick them up.
Safety in Protection Orders:
- Keep your protection order with you at all times. If it is lost or destroyed, you can get another copy from the Clerk of Courts.
- Call the police if the abuser violate the protection order.
- Give copies to anyone with whom your children may stay (school, day care, etc.).
Safety and Emotional Health:
- If you are considering returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
- If you have to communicate with your abuser, do so in the safest way – by phone, mail, in the company of another person, etc.
- Decide who you can talk to freely and who can provide the support you need. Consider calling a domestic violence hotline or attending a support group.
What to Take if You Leave:
- Driver’s license or other form of ID.
- Your birth certificate and those of your family members.
- Money, bank cards, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, mortgage payment book.
- Social security card, work permit, green card, passport, insurance papers, and medical records.
- Your abuser’s social security number and license plate number.
- Divorce and custody papers.
- Copies of your protection order.
- Lease, rental agreement or house deed.
- Medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc. for you and your children or other dependents.
- Personal items like address book, pictures, etc.