Safety Planning

You have the right to live without fear and violence. As soon as possible, develop a safety plan.


If you are still in the relationship:

  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen)
  • Think about and make a list of safe people to contact
  • Memorize all important numbers
  • Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help
  • Think about what you will say to your partner if he/she becomes violent


If you are planning to leave, have the following items hidden in a place where your partner cannot find them:

  • $75 or more in cash
  • A small bag with extra clothes
  • Bank account numbers
  • Checkbook
  • Your Social Security number
  • Partner’s Social Security number
  • Partner’s date of birth, workplace and telephone number
  • Insurance policies
  • Marriage license
  • Birth certificates and passports for you and your child/children
  • List of important phone numbers
  • Sentimental valuables and photos
  • Extra keys for home and/or car
  • Medications


If you have left the relationship:

  • Change your phone number
  • Screen calls
  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the abuser
  • Change locks, if the abuser has a key
  • Avoid staying alone
  • Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner
  • If you must meet your partner, do it in a public place
  • Vary your routine
  • Notify school and work contacts
  • Call a domestic/sexual violence shelter
  • If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action
  • Important papers you should take include social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children, your marriage license, leases or deeds in your name or both yours and your partner’s names, your checkbook, your charge cards, bank statements and charge account statements, insurance policies, proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2’s), and any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)