What is a Safety Plan?
A safety plan is a list of actions you can take to reduce the risk of getting hurt in an unsafe and/or abusive situation.
Creating a Safety Plan
Your safety plan should contain the information that is most vital in keeping you safe from abusive behavior – as your circumstances change, your safety plan may change as well. It might be helpful to include some of the following in your plan:
If there is a threat of violence, think about what room in your home is the safest. The room should have no weapons and contain an exit (either a door or a window to the outside) to allow you to leave.
Create a code word that you tell to at least two other trusted friends or family members. If you are in trouble, you can reach out to them with the code word. Think through what your friends or family members will need to do if you reach out to them with the code word.
If you have children, consider creating a separate code word for them. When you use the code word, they should understand the urgency to get to a predetermined safe place.
If you need to leave in a hurry, make sure to have an exit plan in place. Is there a friend or family member with whom you could stay? A nearby shelter? If you need to find a place to stay, look at our Resources page.
Create an emergency kit that contains copies of your important documents (birth certificates for yourself and your children, driver’s license, passport, etc.), a set of clothes for you and your children, a set of keys, medications, a list of important phone numbers, and any other important items. Keep this bag packed and in a secure location.
Try to use a computer or phone to which an abuser does not have direct or remote access. Also, make sure to log out of all social media and email accounts that are on a shared tablet, laptop, computer, or cell phone. Consider disabling the tracking and location features on shared tablets or cell phones.
Copy of Your Plan
Consider keeping a copy of your plan somewhere safe so that you have access to it if you should need it. You might also consider sending a copy to a trusted friend or family member.
*Please seek out a specific and personalized safety plan from your county’s lead domestic violence agency or family justice center. Check out our Resources page for a list of agencies that may be able to help.