If you have concerns that you are in an unsafe relationship, one of the most important ways to protect yourself is to safety plan. Each safety plan is personalized to your specific situation. The information below can be used as a guideline to create a plan. 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.
Important Items to Take with You if You Leave
Children’s Birth Certificates
Social Security Cards
The guidelines below can help you create your own safety plan
- Memorize your local domestic violence hotline. If you are in Tarrant County, the number is 1-877-701-7233. The national hotline number is 1-800-799-7233.
- 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 are in Tarrant County, the number is 1-877-7233. The national number is 1-800-799-7233.
- If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place.
Remember: Leaving your abuser 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. If you have questions or concerns, please call SafeHaven at 1-877-701-7233 for assistance.
- 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 your abuser has moved out)
- 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 abuser).
- 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.