Safety Plan for Adults | Safety Plan for Children »
When a Fight Breaks Out
• Move away from the kitchen, bathroom, or any place where there are dangerous sharp objects.
• Plan the easiest escape. Decide on a door or window to exit quickly and safely.
• Find a neighbor, friend, or family member you can trust to help you and your children, or to call the police for you.
If You Decide to Leave Your Partner, Plan for Safety
• Every situation is different! Contact us for information on how to plan for safety. Leaving may be risky for you and your children.
• Put some money away. Even if you only save a little bit every week, you need to have some money of your own.
• Make copies of keys and important papers and leave them with a friend, neighbor, or church. Put together your emergency pack.
About Your Children
If you have children you have to plan for them too. Though your children have been affected as you have by the tension and violence at home, leaving will not necessarily be a relief. As bad as things may be at home, children are often more frightened by change. You are the one who can make it easier for them. Experts offer these guidelines:
• Don’t tell smaller children about your plan until you’re on your way. Even then, just tell them that you’re going to stay somewhere else for a while.
• Include one or two cherished belongings for your child; his spoon, her blanket, a favorite book, etc.
• Assure your children repeatedly that you are going to be with them and caring for them no matter what.
• If your children see you frightened or crying, admit your feelings but assure them that you (and the people helping you) can handle everything that needs to be done.
• Remind your child (and yourself) of problems you’ve both dealt with before. Emphasize the fact that you made it then, and you will again.
• Avoid nasty comments about your partner, and don’t say you’ll never see him or her again… even if that’s how you feel.
• Accept the services that shelters may offer your children; don’t assume “they’ll be okay.” Children who’ve witnessed violence are scared by it, and there are people who know how to help them sort it all out. Besides dealing with your children directly, they can help you help your children deal with what’s happened.
Ways to Stay Safe On Your Own
• Change the locks on your doors.
• Learn about your legal rights. If you have legal papers to protect you, keep them with you at all times.
• Tell neighbors, friends, landlords, or coworkers that your partner no longer lives with you. Keep a safety plan for coming and going, and share it with people you trust. Teach your children about the safety plan.
• If your former partner is dangerous, find someone at work to tell. Show a picture and ask them to call 911 if your former partner comes around.
• If you need other ideas or a local referral, call our helpline at (866) 742-5667 [toll-free in the Bay Area], (510) 845-7233, or the Woman, Inc. 24-hr. helpline at (415) 864-4722.
• Do not be alone with anyone who hurts you.
• Listen to the little voice inside when it says that what is being done to you isn’t right.
• Find an adult you trust and tell them what is happening. If they don’t believe you, keep telling until someone does believe you.
• The adult you talk to about your abuse (perhaps a teacher or a neighbor) may want to tell the police or child protective services about the person who is hurting you.
Tips for Emergencies or When You Get Scared
• Know the safe ways out of your house.
• Call a friend, neighbor, or family member you can trust or go to their house.
• Know your important telephone numbers—your telephone number, the police, and your trusted adult.