Deciding to leave an abusive relationship isn't only emotionally taxing on an individual but places people in potentially life-threatening danger. Sadly, domestic violence takes no days off, it's a year-round issue affecting 1-4 Women and 1-7 Men and 1-3 teenagers in the U.S. Please note, all situations are unique, and all safety plans must be tailored accordingly.
A safety plan is a personalized strategy to improve safety, while experiencing abuse, preparing to leave an abusive relationship, or after leaving. The plan includes important information tailored to your unique situation and will help you prepare for and respond to different scenarios, including identifying safe social support allies, partner lethality, coping with emotions, and various available resources.
At first glance a safety plan might seem obvious, however during moments of crisis it may be hard to think clearly and a safety plan can then be utilized as a guide and check list. The following bullet points will highlight a generalized safety plan when leaving an abusive partner. Please contact our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, 1-888-988-5559 for an individualized safety plan.
· Identify trusted individuals you can tell about the abuse.
· Have access to a cell phone or landline to call for help.
· Come up with credible reasons for leaving the home.
· Practice how to get out safely.
· If possible, keep weapons like knives and guns locked away.
· Record evidence of physical abuse.
· Establish a safe place you can flee to.
· If possible, set money aside or ask a trusted adult to save it for you.
· Gather all important documents and keep them in a safe place.
· Keep your medications together, so you can just grab and go.
· Take family pictures or sentimental items
· Have a prepacked, ready to go bag, in a safe place.
· Have emergency numbers available to you.