How to Stay Safe

What does safety planning mean?iStock_000017622178Large

Safety planning means thinking through ways to ensure your safety. This can include seemingly small (but extremely important) details such as the route you take to work, leaving a spare key at a neighbor’s place, or what you can do if you sense your partner is about to have an explosive episode. Safety planning can be used for staying safe while in the relationship, while leaving the relationship, or for when the relationship is over.

Click the links below for safety planning guidelines:

Adult Safety Plan

Teen Safety Plan

General Safety Planning Tips

  • Think about all possible escape routes (i.e. doors, first-floor windows, basement exits, elevators, stairwells). Rehearse if possible.
  • Choose a place to go in case of an emergency, such as a friend or relative’s home (preferably somewhere your partner does not know about).
  • Pack a survival kit, which may include the following items:
    • Money for cab/bus fare
    • Change of clothes
    • Extra house and car keys
    • Birth certificates
    • Passports
    • Medications and copies of prescriptions
    • Insurance information
    • Checkbook and credit cards
    • Legal documents such as separation agreements and protection orders, and papers that show jointly owned assets.
    • Valuables
  • Conceal the kit in the home or leave it with a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative. Important papers can also be left in a bank deposit box.
  • Try to start an individual savings account. Have statements sent to a trusted relative or friend or enroll in Safe at Home.
  • During an argument, try to avoid spaces with sharp objects (i.e. razors, knives, gardening tools), such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or small spaces without access to an outside door.
  • Memorize important phone numbers, such as SAVE’s hotline number, the local police department number, and friends’ numbers.
  • Review and update the safety plan as needed.