Safety Planning

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.

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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.

Important Items 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
Passport
Divorce and custody papers
Marriage license
Medications
House and car keys
Valuable jewelry
Address book
Pictures and sentimental items
Change of clothes for you and your children

Identification:

Driver's License
Birth Certificate
Children's Birth Certificates
Social Security Cards

Financial:

Money and/or credit cards (in your name)
Checking and/or savings account books

Legal Papers:

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
Passport
Divorce and custody papers
Marriage license
Medications
House and car keys
Valuable jewelry
Address book
Pictures and sentimental items
Change of clothes for you and your children