A safety plan is of primary importance for someone who is in an abusive relationship or after the relationship has ended. A safety plan must be individualized and can change depending on the situations of the abusive relationship.
Consider the following suggestions when developing your safety plan, although it is best to seek a victim advocate or social worker at a domestic violence agency to help you elaborate a safety plan that tailors your situation.
- Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
- Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
- If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target; dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
- If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest pay phone is located. Don’t be afraid to call the police.
- Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
- Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house.
- Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
- Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
- Plan for what you will do if your children tell your partner of your plan or if your partner otherwise finds out about your plan.
- Keep weapons like guns and knives locked away and as inaccessible as possible.
- Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver’s door unlocked and others locked — for a quick escape.
- Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
- Pack an extra set of clothes for yourself and your children and store them at a trusted friend or neighbor’s house. Try to avoid using the homes of next-door neighbors, close family members and mutual friends.
Help and Resources
Center Against Family Violence
El Paso Police Department
Texas Council on Family Violence
The Nationals Women Health Information Center
800-994-9662 TDD: 888-220-5446
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
The National Abuse Dating Hotline
1-866-331-9474 | 1-866-331-8453 TTY
Love Good Bad Ugly (Teen Dating)