A safety plan is an outline tailored to your specific situation to help keep you safe. It addresses issues such as things to think about if you are in an abusive relationship, considering leaving your abuser, whether you have left your abuser and items to take or collect as you’re planning to move on. The tips are used to help you consider safety issues that you may not otherwise think about.
Safety is a basic human right that we all deserve. However, leaving an abusive relationship can jeopardize your safety, as well as the safety of your children and even pets. But you are not alone. Shelter House’s trained staff can help you create a plan that can end the abuse. Until you work with a Shelter House advocate, here are some ways to stay safe if a violent situation occurs in your home:
- Stay away from the kitchen where the abuser can readily find weapons.
- Stay away from small places such as bathrooms, closets or other enclosed areas where the abuse can trap you. Find a room with an outside door or window.
- Recognize the abuser’s warning signs and be prepared to react, including retreating to a safe room, leaving the house or calling 911 for help. If possible, run to a friend or neighbor’s house, taking the children with you.
- If a police officer comes, tell in detail what happened and get the officer’s name and badge number.
- Take pictures of bruises or injuries.
Below is a list of safety tips:
- Get an injunction for protection.
- Keep a copy of the injunction with you at all times – in your bag, car, work, children’s school, etc.
- Open a separate bank account in your own name and have the statements sent to a post office box or friend or relative’s address so the abuser will not see them.
- Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times, even in your house. If you do not have a cell phone, Shelter House can provide a 911 phone.
- Notify neighbors you trust of the situation so they can support you if you need help.
- Determine a safe place for children to go if violence occurs.
To work with a trained Shelter House advocate to create your own Safety Plan, please call 850-863-4777 or 1-800-44-ABUSE (2873).