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What is a safety plan?
A safety plan is a set of actions that can help lower your risk of being hurt by your partner while in the relationship or after leaving the relationship. It includes information specific to you and your life that will increase your safety at home, work, or school.
How do I start making a safety plan?
The information below may help you start to think about how to craft your own safety plan. If you need additional help, AWAIC advocates are available 24 hours a day to assist you at
Safety while you are in the relationship:
- Memorize phone numbers of friends and relatives who can help you in an emergency.
- Keep a set of car keys, extra money, necessary medications, a change of clothes, and copies of essential documents like your birth certificate, health insurance cards, and social security card in a safe location.
- 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.
- Always keep your cellphone on you. Keep your phone fully charged as much as possible.
- Let trusted friends and neighbors know about your situation and develop a plan or visual signal for when you need help.
- Practice how to get out of your home safely.
Safety after you have left the relationship:
- Change your locks and consider adding other safety features like security cameras to your home, if possible.
- Tell anyone who may care for your children about the situation and clearly designate who is (and who is not) allowed to pick your children up.
- If you have a protective order, keep it with you at all times. Inform trusted friends and neighbors that your former partner is no longer welcome at your home.
- Consider renting a post office box or using a trusted friend’s address for mail.
- If you think your former partner may try to come to your workplace, inform your HR department and/or supervisor so they can make sure safety protocols are in place.
- If possible, avoid stores and places you used to frequent.
Keep in mind that your internet browsing history, email account, and cellphone use may be monitored by your abusive partner without your knowledge. Here are some tips for safer technology use.
- Use a shared, public computer or delete your browsing history when searching for information that you wouldn’t want your partner to see.
- Open a new email account and access it only on shared computers for sensitive communications or to tell friends, family, and the authorities about your situation.
- Purchase a pay-as-you-go phone that you keep in a safe place or change your cellphone password frequently.
- Consider making your privacy settings on social media stricter and keeping your social media passwords to yourself.
- Limit the personal details you share on social media (like your address, phone numbers, birth date, schools you attended, employers) and keep in mind that an abusive partner could use these details to reach you.
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