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Step2: Devise a Safety Plan

We define a Safety Plan as thorough arrangements created in an effort to protect you and your family in the process of leaving the abuser.

To help ensure your safety, and the safety of your children, it is critical that you develop a comprehensive plan prior to leaving an abusive situation. It is similarly crucial to have a plan to increase your safety, and that of your children, for after you leave the abusive situation. The following are steps to consider on both occasions.

Before You Leave

  • Make arrangements that, in the event of an emergency, you and your children can stay with someone you trust. Preferably someone that your partner doesn’t know.
  • Ask neighbors to call 911 if they hear suspicious noises coming from your home.
  • Know important telephone numbers (police, friends, hotline, shelter).
  • If you sense a violent episode is imminent, and it is safe to do so, disable or hide weapons.
  • Teach your children to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • Practice getting yourself, and your children, out of your home safely. Pre-identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairwell would work best. Make a plan for what to do if you, and your children, become separated.
  • Put together an Escape Kit and place it somewhere safe and accessible, such as a friend’s house. NOT in your home.
  • Advise your employer/coworkers to never speak with your abuser without first checking with you, and to never give information about you to anyone.
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, neighbors, your children’s school officials, your employer, etc. when you need the police.
  • Open a savings account, in your name only, at a bank different from where your abuser’s account(s) is.
  • Do not leave behind any notes/doodles with shelter/bus/airline information.

After You Leave

  • Get a restraining order against your abuser.
  • Inform family, friends, neighbors that you have a restraining order in effect.
  • Keep a copy of your restraining order with you at all times. Keep another copy somewhere in your home and put one in your car.
  • Give a copy to the local police where you live and where you work.
  • Give a copy to your employer and to officials at your children’s school, day care facility or with their babysitter.
  • If possible, attach a photo of your abuser to the copies you place at work and at your children’s day care.
  • Inform the people who take care of your children who has permission to pick up your children
  • Avoid stores, banks, restaurants, theaters, etc. you used to frequent when you were with your partner.
  • If your abuser violates the restraining order, call the police.
  • Have a backup plan in the event the police does not respond quickly!
  • Change your locks and secure your residence.

If you are questioning something that is happening to you, call us at our 24-hour hotline (661) 259-HELP (4357), or non-emergency line (661) 259-8175 for confidential information and support.

Please use a computer in a safe location. Our “emergency exit” on the left-hand side of the page can redirect you in the event of any urgency to leave this web page.