Home Develop a Safety Plan

A safe plan is a plan of action designed to help keep survivors of domestic violence and their children as safe as possible.


  • If aggression or an argument seems unavoidable, try to move to a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.

___ Open Space in House

  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, stairwell, or elevator would be best.
  • Have a packed bag ready or have a bag with a friend, neighbor or family member. Keep it in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
  • Identify a neighbor whom you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police or help.
  • Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home even if you do not think you will need to leave.

___ Contact Person

___ 2 – 3 different places to go

  • Use your own instincts and judgment to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
  • Always remember, you don’t deserve to be threatened or abused verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually or spiritually.


  • Open a bank account in your name to start establishing or increasing your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so that you can leave quickly.
  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you money.
  • Keep the Sistercare service line number close at hand – 803 765-9428.
  • Review the safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer.

___ Cell phone charged

___ Gas in vehicle is full

___ Extra phone (911 cell phone, prepaid phone, etc.)

  • Law enforcement officers can escort you to pick up some of your belongings.
  • Please remember, the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor is when planning to leave or leaving the abuser.


  • Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.

___ Check locks and windows daily/nightly

___ Install peephole

  • Discuss a safety plan (“fire drill”) with your children.

___ Together

___ Children have copy of house keys

___ When not together

___ Memorize important numbers and home address together

  • Inform your children’s school, daycare, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.

___ Copies of order of protection or restraining order

___ Secure, safe childcare

___ Copy of picture of abuser

  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.
  • Other:

___ Extra lights

___ Obtain P.O. box address

___ Change email/password

___ Log journal – document all incidents: texts, calls, etc.

___ Signs: No trespassing, beware of dog, etc.

___ Go to different stores than before (grocery, gas, etc.)

___Save all text messages and voicemails from abuser

___ Take a break from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)

___ Change the pin number if you have a joint checking/savings account


  • Keep your protective order on you at all times. (When you change your purse that should be the first thing that goes in it.)
  • Call police if your abuser breaks the protective order.
  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
  • Inform family, friends, and neighbors that you have a protective order in effect.

___ Contact Person

  • If currently incarcerated, learn how you may know when your abuser is released.


  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a photo of your abuser if possible.

___ Copies of order of protection or restraining order

___ Contact Person

  • Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
  • Devise a safety plan for leaving work. Have someone escort you to your transportation. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home in your vehicle, a bus or cab, etc.

___ Check in with contact person

___ Keep vehicle doors locked while driving

___ Code word

___ Avoid dark places


  • If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
  • If you must communicate with your abuser, determine the safest way to do so.
  • Have positive thoughts about yourself. Read books, articles, and poems to help you feel stronger.
  • Be assertive about your needs as they are just as important as the needs of others.
  • Decide to whom you can call to talk freely and openly and to receive support when you need it.
  • Plan to attend a domestic violence survivor’s support group for at least four weeks to gain support from others and to learn more about yourself and domestic violence.

Safety Plan information listed above has been obtained from the National Network To End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).