MY PERSONALIZED SAFETY PLAN
The following steps represent my plan for increasing my safety. Although I do not have control over ____________________________’s violence, I do have a choice about how to respond to him/her and how to best get myself (and my children) to safety. I can use some or all of the following strategies.
SAFETY DURING A VIOLENT INCIDENT
- When we argue, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as ______________. (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons or in rooms without access to an outside exit.)
- If it is not safe to stay, I can ________________________________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes would you use?)
- I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them ______________________ in order to leave quickly.
- I can keep copies of important documents or keys at _______________________________.
- I can tell _____________________________about the violence and request they call the police if they hear noises coming from my home.
- I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact the police and the fire department. I will make sure they know the address
- If I have a programmable phone, I can program emergency numbers and teach my children how to use the auto dial.
- I will use ____________________as my code word with my children or my friends so they will call for help.
- If I have to leave my home, I will go _________________________. If I cannot go to the above location, I can go _____________________________.
- If it’s not safe to talk openly, I will use __________________ as the code word/signal to my children that we are going to go, or to my family or friends that we are coming.
- The domestic violence hotline number is ____________________. I can call it if I need shelter.
- I will use my judgment and intuition. If the situation is very serious, I can give my partner what he wants to try and calm him down. I have to protect myself until I/we are out of danger.
- I can also teach some of these strategies to some/all of my children, as appropriate.
SAFETY WHEN PLANNING TO LEAVE
- I can call a domestic violence program and get help making my plans. The hotline number for the nearest program is ______________________.
- I can leave money and an extra set of keys with _____________________so that I can leave quickly. (Make sure you’ve got enough money for cab fare, a night’s stay at a motel, a couple of meals and pre-paid phone cards.)
- I can keep copies of important documents or keys at _______________________________.
- I can leave extra clothes with ________________________.
- I can check with ___________________ and ____________________ and to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money.
- I can increase my independence by opening a bank account and getting credit cards in my own name. Taking classes or getting job skills; getting copies of all the important papers and documents I might need and keeping them with _______________________. (Open an account preferably in a separate bank than the one your abuser uses. Make sure the statement, credit card information is NOT sent to your home where the abuser will find out about it. Use a post office box, your work address, or a friend’s address. If you get an ATM card with the account, don’t keep it in your wallet where it can be found.)
- I can take classes or get job training; get copies of all the important papers and documents I might need and keep them with me. (Make sure that these documents, information is not sent to your home you share with your abuser. Make sure that he does not know that you have taken out the important documents.)
- I can keep change for phone calls with me at all times. I understand that if I use my telephone credit card, the following month’s telephone bill will tell ____________________________ those numbers that I called after I left. To keep my telephone communications confidential, I can either use coins, pre-paid phone cards or get a friend to let me use his/her telephone credit card for a limited time when I first leave. (You can get inexpensive pre-paid phone cards at most convenience stores.)
- I can ask ______________________________ and __________________________________ and ____________________________ if I could stay with them or if they could lend me some money.
- I can sit down and review my safety plan every ______________________________ so that I know the safest way to leave my home. ________________________ has agreed to help me review this plan.
- I can rehearse my escape plan and, if appropriate, practice it with my children.
- Other things I can do to increase my independence include: _____________________________________
SAFETY IN MY OWN RESIDENCE
- I can change the locks on my doors and windows.
- I can replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors.
- I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, an electronic system, etc.
- I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.
- I can install smoke detectors and put fire extinguishers on each floor in my home.
- I can teach my children to __________________________________________ when I am not available.
- I can tell people who take care of my children what persons have permission to pick up my children and that ______________________ is not permitted to do so. The people I will inform about the pick-up include: School: _____________________________, Day Care Staff: _______________________________, Babysitter: ______________________________, Teacher:_____________________________, and: ___________________________________________________.
- I can teach my children how to use the telephone to make a collect call to me and to _________________ ____________________in the event that _____________________________________ abducts them.
- I can inform ____________________________ and ______________________________________ and _____________________________ that ______________________________ no longer resides with me and they should call the police if he/she is observed near my home.
- I can give the security guard at my apartment building a photograph of ____________________________, a copy of my protective order (if I have one), and tell them how important it is not to allow ____________________ to enter the building, complex, or elevators to my residence. I can discuss a plan for the guard if he/she comes to the building (e.g., not allow him in, call the police immediately, or _____________________________________________________________________________________.
- I can ask the driver’s license bureau to withhold my address information from disclosure.
- I can consider getting a new social security number so that ____________________________cannot track my whereabouts.
SAFETY AT JOB AND IN PUBLIC PLACES
- I can inform my boss, the security supervisor/ and/or Employee Assistance Program about my situation. My workplace EAP number is ____________________. I can ask_____________________________ to screen my calls at work.
- When leaving work, I can _________________________________________.
- When traveling to and from work, if there’s trouble, I can ______________________________________.
- If I use public transportation, I can ________________________________________________________.
- I can change my patterns – avoid stores, banks, doctor’s appointments, laundromats and __________________, places where my partner might find me.
- I can tell ____________________ and ______________________ that I am no longer with my partner and ask them to call the police if they believe my children or I are in danger.
- I can also _________________________________________________________________________.
SAFETY WITH AN ORDER OF PROTECTION
- I can keep my protective order __________________________. (Always keep it on or near you. If you change purses, that’s the first thing that should go in. You can also keep copies in the car, at the office, etc.)
- I can make copies of my protection order and give it to police departments in the community in which I live and those where I visit friends and family.
- I can give copies to my employer, my religious advisor, my closest friend, my children’s school and day care center and _________________________________________.
- If I move to another state, I will get information about registering my protective order. By registering it, I understand that ____________________________________ may be able to find out that I have moved to that state.
- If __________________________ destroys my order or if I lose it, I can get another copy from the ______________________________ court aht issued it.
- I ___________________________ violates the order, I can call the police and report a violation, contact my attorney, call my advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation.
- I can call a domestic violence program if I have questions about how to enforce an order or if I have problems getting it enforced.
- I can also file a private complaint with the appropriate court in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred or with the district attorney. I can charge ________________________ with a violation of the Order of Protection and all the crimes that he/she commits in violating the order. I can call my advocate to help me with this.
SAFETY AND DRUG OR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
(The legal outcomes of illegal drugs can be very severe, may hurt your relationship with your children, and put you at a disadvantage in other legal actions with an abuser. Therefore, the potential cost of using illegal drugs should be carefully considered. The use of any alcohol or other drug can also reduce your ability to protect yourself from your abuser.)
- If drug and alcohol use has occurred in my relationship with ____________________________, I can enhance my safety by some or all of the following:
- If I am going to consume alcohol or other drugs, I can do so in a safe place with people who understand the risk of violence and are committed to my safety.
- I can also _________________________________________ or _________________________________.
- If ___________________________ is consuming alcohol or other drugs, I can _____________________ ___________________________________________________.
- To protect my children, I can ___________________________________________________________ or ____________________________________________________________________________________.
SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
(The experience of being abused is usually exhausting and emotionally draining. The process of building a new life takes much courage and incredible energy.)
- If I am feeling down, lonely or confused, I can call ________________________ or the domestic violence hotline __________________________
- I can take care of my physical health needs by getting a checkup with my doctor, gynecologist and dentiest. If I don’t have a doctor, I will call the local clinic or _____________________ to get one.
- If I have left my partner and am considering returning, I can call ______________________________ or spend time with _____________________________ before I make a decision.
- I can remind myself daily of my best qualities. They are: _____________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
- I can attend support groups, workshops, or classes at the local domestic violence program or __________________________ in order to build a support system, learn skills or get information.
- I can look at how and when I drink alcohol or use other drugs. If I am going to drink/use other drugs, I can do it in a place where people are committed to my safety.
- I can read books that were written for battered women.
- Other things I can do to feel strong are: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________.
- I can attend workshops and support groups at the domestic violence program or ____________________ to gain support and strengthen my relationships with other people.
WHAT I NEED TO TAKE IF AND WHEN I LEAVE:
I can keep the items concerning me in one location. If I have to leave in a hurry, I can grab those items quickly.
IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
CFVC 24-Hour Hotline: (770) 479-1703
CFVC Office: (770) 479-1804