safety plan


The following guidelines are designed to help keep you safe if you suspect you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. It is always best to have a plan in case things get bad. You may not have control over your partner’s violence but you do have a choice about how you respond. Wild Iris is committed to helping people feel safe, our peer counselors are trained to help you with your safety planning. It is also wise to ask those you trust if they can help you if things ever got bad.

Typically, abusive relationships display an imbalance of power and control, use violence as a tool to control another person and the abuse tends to become progressively more severe.

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit and not in the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairs would be best.
  • Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
  • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call Law Enforcement 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 Law Enforcement.
  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
  • If the situation is very dangerous, use your own instincts and judgement to keep yourself safe. Call Law Enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so. (You have the ability to obtain a restraining order through the court or through Law Enforcement at any time in an emergency). Ask for an Emergency Protective Order (EPO).
  • Always remember – YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE SAFE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP—-PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL OR SEXUAL ABUSE IS NOT OK.

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Make a checklist of items to bring. Include any important paperwork like passports, birth certificates, identification, insurance information, rental agreements, school or medical records, etc.
  • Determine where you could stay & who would lend you money.
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust.
  • Open a savings account in your own name to start or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
  • Keep the shelter numbers close at hand and keep change, a calling card or cell phone with you at all times.
    Review your safety plan with a domestic violence advocate in order to plan the safest way to leave.
  • REMEMBER – LEAVING YOUR BATTERER CAN BE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME.

Safety in Your Home

  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your batterer no longer lives with you and that they should call Law Enforcement if they see this person near your home. Show them a picture of your batterer.
  • Rehearse a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform your children’s school or day care about who has permission to pick up your children. (Give them a copy of your Restraining Order).
  • Change/Add locks on your doors and windows as soon as possible. Add a peephole and increase outdoor lighting if possible. Try to borrow a cell phone (if you do not have one). Change your phone number.

Safety With a Restraing Order

  • Keep your restraining order with you at all times. Leave extra copies at work, with a friend, in your car, etc. Make sure Law Enforcement has entered it into their computer system called “CLETS.”
  • Call Law Enforcement if your batterer violates the restraining order.
  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if Law Enforcement does not respond right away.
  • Inform family, friends and neighbors that you have a restraining order.
  • Try to avoid places where your batterer may frequent.

Safety at Work

  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. Provide a picture of your batterer if possible.
  • Try to arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls.
  • Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus, etc. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home.

Safety & Your Emotional Health

  • If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss your plan & concerns with someone you trust.
  • If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
  • Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
  • Plan to attend a support group to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and relationships.
  • Decide who you can call to give you the support you need.

Safety for a Teen Dating Relationship

  • If things in your relationship do not feel right, talk about it with someone you trust.
  • Decide which friend, teacher, relative or Law Enforcement Officer you can go to in an emergency.
  • Contact a domestic violence advocate or Law Enforcement Officer to learn how to obtain a restrianing order and make a safety plan.
  • Remember—YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO FEEL AFRAID IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP, NO MEANS NO.

 

NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED

Wild Iris Hotline 1-877-873-7384