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Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence

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KCSDV Safety Plan or KCSDV Home page This site has a lot of good information.

The KCSDV safety plan is printed here with permission granted to do so with some small changes being made to make the plan more appropriate for international use. Thank you.

Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence

This safety plan is for victims of domestic violence. Safety planning helps develop tools in advance of potentially dangerous situations. Choose only the suggestions listed here that make sense for your set of circumstances.


Go to an area that has an exit.

Not a bathroom (near hard surfaces), kitchen (knives), or near weapons.

Stay in a room with a phone.

Call the emergency number that applies in your country (911, 999, 000, 112, other ) a friend or a neighbor, if possible. Inform them if there are weapons in the home.

Know your escape route.

Practice how to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route.

Have a packed bag ready.

Keep it hidden in a handy place in order to leave quickly, or leave the bag elsewhere if the abuser searches your home.

Devise a code word or signal.

Tell your children, grandchildren or neighbors so you can communicate to them that you need the police.

Know where you're going.

Plan where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don't think you'll need to.

Trust your judgement.

Consider anything that you feel will keep you safe and give you time to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it is best to flee, sometimes to placate the abuser - anything that works to protect yourself and the children.



Have a safe place to stay.

Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your children or grandchildren.

Call a domestic violence victim service program.

Find out which services and shelters are available as options if you need them. (See Statewide Resources on this website.) Keep their address and phone number close at hand at all times.

Find someone you trust.

Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents and clothing with them in advance, so you can leave quickly, if necessary.

Open a savings account.

Put it in your name only, to increase your independence. Consider direct deposit from your paycheck or benefit check.

Review your safety plan.

Study and check your plans as often as possible in order to know the safest way to leave the abuser.

Concerns about immigration status.

You may qualify under a law called the Violence Against Women Act. Talk to an immigration expert (not Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or your local domestic violence victim services program for more information. See Hot Peaches International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies to locate your local domestic violence services


* Marriage and Driver's licenses

* Birth certificates - yours and family's

* Money, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, mortgage payment book, car title

* Social Security card, work permit, green card, passport, visa

* Divorce, custody papers and restraining order

* Insurance papers and medical records

* Lease, rental agreement and/or house deed

* School and health records

* Keys - house, car, office, friend's

* Medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc. needed by you and your family

* Personal items - address book, pictures, toys

* Copies of your spouse's green card or social security card and all immigration related documents

* Benefit card


(If the abuser does not live with you)

Upgrade your security system.

Change the locks on doors and windows as soon as possible. Consider a security service, window bars, better lighting, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

Have a safety plan.

Teach your children or grandchildren how to call the police or someone they can trust. Have a secret code word that you and your children agree on - to communicate trouble and for the people who are allowed to pick the children up.

Change your phone number.

Screen your calls if you have an answering machine or caller ID. Save all messages with threats or that violate any orders. Contact your local phone company about getting an unpublished number.

Talk to neighbors and landlord.

Inform them that the abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see the abuser near your home.

Get legal advice.

Find a lawyer (solicitor) knowledgeable about domestic violence to explore custody, visitation and divorce provisions that protect you and the children. Discuss getting a restraining order as an option. The abuser may be mandated to a batterers' intervention program. Talk with the program to find out more about potential risks to you while your abuser participates. Additionally, contact your local domestic violence victim services program. Hot Peaches International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies


Get support. Call a domestic violence crisis help-line and/or attend a womens or victims support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship with the abuser.

Do what is safe for you. If you have to communicate with the abuser, arrange to do so in the way that makes you feel safe whether by phone, mail or in the company of another person.


Tell schools and childcare. Let them know who has permission to pick up the child/ren and give them your code word. Discuss with them other special provisions to protect you and your child/ren. Provide a picture of the abuser if possible.

Exchange child/ren in a safe place. Find a safe place to exchange the child/ren for visitation. Some communities have specific locations just for this purpose. Contact your local domestic violence victim services program for more information.



Tell somebody. Decide whom at work you will inform of your situation, especially if you have a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA). This may include office security if available. Provide a picture of the abuser if possible. It is your right to request and expect confidentiality from those you disclose to.

Screen your calls. Arrange to have someone screen and log your telephone calls if possible.

Make a safety plan. Create a safety plan for when you enter and leave your work place. Have someone escort you to your vehicle or other transportation.

If you and the abuser work at the same place, discuss with your supervisor your options regarding scheduling, safety precautions, employee/family benefits.

Contact your local domestic violence victim services program to receive additional information about workplace safety.

IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 911, 999, 112, 000 or the emergency number appropriate for your country.

For support, call the domestic violence program nearest you Hot Peaches International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies

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