Planning for Safety: In an Abusive Relationship

Planning for Safety
If you think you are in an abusive relationship, it is important to make a plan to keep yourself and your children safe.  Think of a safety plan like keeping an emergency kit in your car.  Hopefully you won’t need it but if you do, it could save your life.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Identify things that have worked in the past to keep you safe.
  • Think about what has happened in the past and how the abuser has acted.   Identify clues that indicate when things might become violence (i.e. behavioral – body language, drug/alcohol use, etc. – and event driven – paydays, holidays, etc.)
  • Identify what you will do if the violence starts again.   Can you call the police?  Is there a phone in the house?  Can you work out a signal with the children or neighbors to call the police or get help?
  • Explore ways to have dangerous weapons (i.e. guns, hunting knives, etc.) removed from the house.
  • Plan how you could get out of the house quickly if your partner becomes violent.  Try to position yourself near a door where you can escape quickly.
  • Put together a suitcase and keep it at a friend for family member’s house.  Put in it clothes for you and the children, needed medicines, important papers, car keys, photographs, money and emergency phone numbers.  Add anything else you might need if you have to leave suddenly.
  • Tell neighbors about the abuse and have them call the police if they hear noises coming from your house.
  • Talk to you children about how they can keep themselves safe as well.