Women's Health - Domestic Violence Safety Plan
A safety plan involves making preparations to leave an abusive partner in a quick, safe manner. Often, when a woman tries to leave an abusive partner, he becomes violent and an emergency situation develops. That's why making a safety plan is so important.
- Have important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
- Know how to get out of the house in a hurry, to make sure that you have an escape route through the back door or a window if things get out of hand.
- Have necessary escape tools handy. For example, one woman hid a coffee can containing candles and other things that she needed for her immediate safety in a cornfield. Money, including coins for a pay phone, should be in the safety kit. The kit should also include an address book with phone numbers of friends, relatives, doctors and lawyers; and a change of clothing for you and your children.
- Know where you can go and how you can get there without a car. Set up a plan with a friend or neighbor who can provide transportation.
- Get an extra set of important papers. These papers might include checking and savings account numbers, a copy of the lease, the car title, copies of any orders for protection, birth certificates for you and your children, social security numbers, medical cards and any medications that you need.
- Avoid making long distance phone calls from home, because your abuser could trace the calls to find out where you're staying. Also, call the schools, the courts, and the welfare office to tell them not to give out any information on the children or yourself.