Working to End Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence Safety Plan

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows or stairwell would be best.
  • Have an extra set of keys and a packed bag ready; keep them in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
  • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbor when you need the police.
  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
  • Use your instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he wants to calm him down. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
  • Always remember: You don’t deserve to be hit, threatened or controlled!

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Open a checking and/or savings account in your own name to begin to establish or increase your independence. Rent a post office box to receive mail that may not be safe to receive at home. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  • Determine who would let you stay with them or lend you money if necessary.
  • Keep the number of the local domestic violence project nearby and have change or a calling card with you at all times for emergency phone calls.
  • Review your safety plan as often as possible. Remember: Leaving may be the most dangerous time.

Safety In Your Own Home

  • Change your locks as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
  • Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police is they see him near your home.

Safety Planning with Kids