Every individual in an abusive relationship should have a safety plan. And plans should cover different areas at different stages in the cycle of abuse. The victim does not have control over their partner's abuse but there are ways to reduce the potential for harm.
A safety plan is a tool to assist in identifying options and evaluating them, and can limit the harm brought both to the victim and their children. There is no right or wrong way to develop a safety plan but it is important that the victim makes it themselves as it is easier to then remember. If the victim has difficulty in remembering things, ask if their friends or family can keep a copy of the plan.
Whether it is safe or not to write the plan down, it is still important to make and think about one.
Suggestions for increasing safety - in the relationship
I will have important phone numbers available to my children and myself.
I can tell ___________ and _____________about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my home.
If I leave my home, I can go (list four places):
I can leave extra money, car keys, clothes, and copies of documents with _______________________________________________________________.
When I leave, I will take _______________________________________with me.
For safety and independence, I can:
Keep change for phone calls with me at all times
Ensure my phone is charged
Use a panic alarm
Open my own savings account
Alter my routes to/from__________________________________________ Rehearse my escape route with a support person; and review safety plan on ___________________________(date).
When the violence begins which areas of the house should I avoid?
e.g. bathroom (no exit), kitchen (potential weapons)
Suggestions for increasing safety - when the relationship is over
I can: change the locks; install steel/metal doors, a security system, smoke detectors and an outside lighting system.
I will inform _____________and ________________ that my partner no longer lives with me and ask them to call the police if s/he is observed near my home or my children.
I will tell people who take care of my children the names of those who have permission to pick them up. The people who have permission are: __________________, _________________and ____________________.
When I make phone calls I can use 141 so my number cannot be traced.
I can tell ______________________at work about my situation and ask _________________ to screen my calls.
I can avoid shops, banks, and ___________________that I used when living with my abusive partner. I can change my route to/from_________________.
If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation:
I can call _____________________________________________for support.
I can alter the route and/or times _________________ appointments at the
___________________service or attend ______________service as an alternative.
Important Phone Numbers
Items to take checklist
- Birth certificates for me and my children
- Benefit books
- Medical cards
- Phone card, mobile or change for a pay phone
- Money, bankbooks, credit cards
- Keys - house/car/office
- Keys to a friend or relative’s house
- Medicine, medication or drugs
- Driver's license
- Change of clothes
- Passport(s), Home Office papers, work permits
- Divorce papers
- Lease/rental agreement, house deed
- Mortgage payment book, current unpaid bills
- Insurance papers
- Address book
- Pictures, jewellery, items of sentimental value
- Children's favourite toys and/or blankets
- Any proof of abuse, notes, tapes, diary, crime reference numbers, names and numbers of professionals
In an emergency, always call the police on 999