When leaving an abusive relationship, there is no right or wrong way to create a safety plan since they are personalized to the specific situation. If you or someone you know needs assistance in creating a personal safety plan, please call our 24-Hour crisis hotline at 1-877-701-SAFE(7233). SafeHaven is here to help.
Domestic Violence: A Personal Safety Plan
adapted from the Attorney General of Texas website
You have the right to be safe. Remember, you do not deserve to be hit or threatened. You are not alone. Click Here for Protective Orders page.
During an Explosive Incident:
- If there is an argument, try to be in a place that has an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or room that may contain weapons.
- Practice getting out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell to use.
- Pack a bag and have it ready at a friend's or relative's house.
- Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask them if they can call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
- Decide and plan where you will go if you ever have to leave home.
- Use your instincts and judgment. In a dangerous situation, placate the abuser if possible, to keep him or her calm.
Remember: You Do Not Deserve to be Hit or Threatened
When Preparing to Leave
- Open a checking account or savings account in your own name.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes and medicines in a safe place or with someone you trust.
- Get your own post office box.
- Find a safe place where you and your children can go or a person who can lend you money.
- Always keep the shelter phone number and some change or calling card on you for emergency phone calls.
- If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place.
Remember: Leaving Your Batterer is the Most Dangerous Time
With a Protective Order
- If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted, you can request a Protective Order from your local District or County Attorney.
- Always keep your Protective Order with you.
- Call the police if your partner violates the Protective Order.
- Inform family members, friends, and neighbors that you have a Protective Order in effect.
- Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond immediately.
In Your Own Residence
- If you stay in your home, lock your windows and change locks on your doors.
- Develop a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
- Inform your child's school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your child.
- Inform your neighbors and the landlord that your partner no longer lives with you, and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.
- Never call the abuser from your home; he/she may find out where you live. Never tell the abuser where you live.
- Request an unlisted/unpublished number from the telephone company.
On the Job and in Public
- Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. Include the office building security (if possible, provide them with a picture of your batterer).
- When at work, if possible, have someone screen your telephone calls.
- Have someone escort you to and from your car, bus, or train.
- If at all possible, use a variety of routes to come and go from home.
What You Need to Take
- Driver's License
- Birth Certificate
- Children's Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Money and/or credit cards (in your name)
- Checking and/or savings account books
- Protective Order
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Car registration and insurance papers
- Health and life insurance papers
- Medical records for you and children
- School records
- Work permits/Green Card/Visa
- Divorce and custody papers
- Marriage license
- House and car keys
- Valuable jewelry
- Address book
- Pictures and sentimental items
- Change of clothes for you and your children