Create a Safety Plan

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

PLEASE NOTE: There are two safety plans to complete.

 

Are you trying to leave? Click here for Plan 1

Have you already left? Click here for Plan 2

 

Plan 1: Before you leave an abusive situation


When you’re in an abusive relationship and you cannot leave, it is necessary that you protect yourself and your children and pets if you have them. Experts recommend having a safety plan in place so that you will know what to do, where to go, and who to call when the time arises since abusers can be the most violent when their victim is getting ready to leave. You should also know how to protect your privacy online so your abuser does not find out that you are seeking help.


Think about the following items. If possible, record your responses in a safe place. If you can, you may also download a hard copy of the Safety Plan to print and complete here:


FAS Safety Plan 1
.pdf
Download PDF • 140KB

Again, only if you feel it's safe enough to do so. Make sure you safeguard this information. If not, make a decision in answer to the following questions in your mind and do you best to remember it.


1. What happens to trigger the violence? When you become aware of what happens right before each abuse incident, you will know it is time to begin activating your safety plan.

2. Will you leave where you are with your abuser?

a. If you are in public you can try to leave the area and go somewhere safe. If you went together, you can call a cab, an Uber or Lyft, or a friend. If you are in public and cannot get away - people respond to a shout of “fire” more than any other word.

b. If you are together at home, you may decide to leave and go to a friend or family member’s home.

c. If you do not live together and you are in private you may choose to go to your home.


3. Who can you call? Do you need to write their phone number down in case you don’t have your cell phone? If you don’t have your cell, where can you go to gain access to a phone, if you decide you need to?

4. Have you confided in anyone? Do you want to do so now?

5. If you have confided in another person, do you want a safe word with that person? The other person can be your ally so that the other person can call for help on your behalf or they can come and get you if you decide to leave.

a. Do your children need a code word to use with you? Are they in danger too?

b. Do you need to implement a plan with your child to decide if he or she should leave? Where will your child go? What will your child do?


6. If you decide to leave you could consider the following:

a. Where will you go? Shelter, friend, family.

b. How long will you stay? A couple of hours to cool off, overnight, or longer?

c. What will you take with you? Clothes, children, pets, money, identification, other documentation? Court orders, separation agreements, custody paperwork? Shot and pediatrician records?

d. What cash, debit cards, credit cards, and banking information will you need where you will go? Are there any medications that you need to consider?

e. Are pets permitted if you go to a shelter? If not, where can you take your pets if you don’t want to leave them behind?

f. Will you turn off social media accounts?

g. Will you accept phone calls and text messages from your person?

h. Will you go silent or will you tell your person where you will go?

i. Will you place a bag, or box of items somewhere so that you can leave quickly?

j. Do you need to bring your children’s favorite items - a stuffed animal, blanket, or other soothing items?

7. If you decide to stay how will you remain safe? How will you keep your children and pets safe? Is it possible to stay and be safe?

a. Will you call the police?

b. Will your children or pets be harmed?

c. If you’re okay at the beginning of the abuse incident, will it escalate so that you cannot leave later?




Plan 2: After you leave an abusive situation


When you have decided to leave the situation and you need to use your plan. Once you have made it to your location, and you have decided to remain anonymous. You can plan what to do next so that you can remain safe. Remember, abusers are the most violent when their victim is getting ready to leave. It can be a very dangerous time.


Think about the following items. If possible, record your responses in a safe place. If you can, you may also download a hard copy of the Safety Plan to print and complete here:


FAS Safety Plan 2
.pdf
Download PDF • 147KB

Again, only if you feel it's safe enough to do so. Make sure you safeguard this information. If not, make a decision in answer to the following questions in your mind and do you best to remember it.


  1. Stay on social media or log out on all your devices? Will you post or not post? Will you log out or will you stay logged in?

  2. What about your cell phone? Is your cell phone traceable by your person? Can you turn off your location settings on your electronic devices? Will you take it with you or leave it behind? Can you buy a disposable, temporary phone easily? If you obtain a temporary phone will you set up voicemail or have someone else do it?

  3. Will you block your person’s calls and texts? Will you accept the calls or texts? Will you call your person with or without blocking the number?

  4. Do you need to change passwords to banking accounts or credit accounts?

  5. Are you able to stay where you are for an extended period or do you need to move on quickly?

  6. Will you communicate with people your person knows? Will you stay in the same geographical area or go farther away?

  7. Will you need to avoid places or specific spaces?

  8. What will you do or who will you contact if your abuser is following you?

  9. Will you decide to get a protection order? How can you get assistance with that?


What can I do?

  • Seek help.

  • Make sure you have some cash, cards, identification available at all times.

  • Make sure your car tank is full whenever possible, don’t let it go below a quarter tank.

  • Keep an extra cell charger available if you can.

  • If you leave your device behind, you can make a list of numbers for close friends and family so that you can contact them for assistance.

  • Have someone set to check on your regularly. If things escalate and you cannot get away.

  • Make sure there is somewhere to go, a way to get there, and someone to talk to when every possible.

Help

If you have an emergency call 911 for help.

Access our Get Help page for resources or reach out to us:


Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County

530 Crescent Drive, Troy, OH 45373

Daytime Phone: 937-339-6761

After Hours: 1-800-351-7347

***If you have an emergency, call 911 for help





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