Establishing a Safety Plan
It is advised to have a “Safety Plan” prepared if you are in a violent or abusive relationship. When you need to leave the family home quickly, it helps to have a Safety Plan prepared to protect you and any children you may have.
Consider the following ideas when creating your safety plan:
- Do you have a trusted family member, or neighbour? If so, consider informing them of the situation since you might need to contact them in an emergency.
- Prepare a bag for you and any kids you may have, filling it with extra house and car keys, cash, a list of useful phone numbers, and a change of clothes for each person. Leave this bag with a reliable person.
- Constantly carry your phone with you. If you don’t have access to a mobile, find a location where you can quickly and easily use a phone. This might be a payphone located at a neighbour’s, friend’s, or family member’s home.
- Make a list of all the phone numbers you might require in an emergency. Include your closest refuge as well as your friends, family, local police, GP, and Women’s Aid. Remember to copy out all the numbers you might need because you might not be able to access or use them even if you have them saved in your phone. Keep a copy of this list on hand at all times.
- Always carry a small amount of cash on you to pay for calls, as well as any necessary fare for a taxi, train, or bus.
- Explain that you might need to leave quickly if your kids are old enough to understand, and make sure they understand what to do in that situation. If you end up getting separated from them, you might think about setting up a meeting place.
- Instruct your kids to call 999 in case of an emergency. Make sure they are prepared to provide their name, address, and phone number. Stay away from the kitchen or garage if you believe your partner is about to attack you because there may be knives and/or other weapons there. Avoid confined spaces like the bathroom, where you might find it difficult to flee an attack.
If you’re considering leaving your partner, get advice on how to do so safely from Womens Aid or your neighbourhood shelter. Amen can be reached by men who are victims of domestic violence. This website is strictly a resource and place of information.
This website’s content offers helpful advice on how to keep you and your family safe. It is not legal advice from a qualified professional and should not be taken as such. If you’re thinking about separating from your partner or your home, you should speak with a lawyer about the legal ramifications of your choice.