Create a Safety Plan
Step One: Tell people you trust that you are being abused. Talk to them about how they can help you stay safe. You may want to keep the abuse private, but when people outside your home know about the abuse, they can help keep you safe (and, if you have children, help protect them too).
Step Two: Plan where you can go if you need to leave in a hurry. Look for safe places that are open 24 hours where you can be safe while you call for help. If you plan to go to someone’s home, arrange this ahead of time. That way if you arrive with no notice, they will know to let you in, lock the doors and ask questions later. (Be careful about going to the home of a friend or relative where your abuser will think to look. That could be dangerous for everyone involved.)
Step Three: Make sure you have car keys and gas in the car, bus tickets or another means of transportation. Know exactly how to get to where you plan to go.
Step Four: Plan what you need to bring with you. Pack an emergency bag with cash, debit or credit cards, health care cards, your driver’s license and passport, prescription drugs or medications, etc. If you have children, include things for them like toys or books.
Step Five: Find out about emergency protection orders, restraining orders, peace bonds or other legal ways to stop your partner from contacting you. Your local police service or a police-based victim services unit can give you information.
How to stay safe
What to tell your children
If you have children, you must keep them safe at all times. To ensure their safety, you need to talk to them about what is going on. Don’t try to pretend it’s not happening.
- Make sure children know that even though the adults in their home do not get along, the children are not to blame and the abuse is not their fault.
- Tell your children exactly what they should do in an emergency. If something does happen, they need to be prepared. Don’t scare them but be clear about what they should do. Should they go to a friend or neighbour’s house and wait for you? Should they call 911? Having a plan can make a huge difference in an emergency situation.