This is a list of general safety considerations if you or someone you know is being harmed.
Every situation is different. Trust your instincts. If something on this list seems like it could cause danger for you, don’t do it. Remember you can call our 24-hour crisis line at 800.544.2022 anytime, any day. Our advocates are available to support you. Together, we can tailor a safety plan to meet your specific needs.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Use caution if you share a computer or mobile phone with the abuser. It’s impossible to completely clear your browser history. If someone wants, they can monitor the website your visit and the calls you make. If this is a concern, please consider using a computer or phone of a trusted friend.
- Tell a trusted friend or family member. Abuse thrives in silence and isolation. Telling someone about your situation may be difficult, but taking positive action to end the abuse is easier with support.
- If you have children, discuss an age-appropriate safety plan for when you are not with them.
- Choose a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors so they will know when to call 911 for you.
- If you have a protective order, keep a copy of the document with you at all times. Make a copy for a trusted friend or family member to keep for you.
- If you don’t have a protective order, consider filing for one. We can help you with this process. Even though a protective order is not a guarantee of safety, serious consequences for the abuser can result in greater safety for you.
- Decide and plan where you will go if you need to flee quickly. Practice how to get out of your home safely. If you are in fear for your physical safety, go to the home of a friend, relative, neighbor, or to a shelter for victims of intimate partner abuse.
- Open a savings account in your own name. Ask a trusted friend or family member if you can use their address for mailings.
- Prepare a bag with copies of important documents, extra medicine, clothing, and some money. Leave this bag with someone you trust.
- Decide if you will inform your employer and colleagues at work about your abuser. If possible, provide them with a photograph of this person.
- Have someone escort you to your car or wait with you at the bus stop. Consider what you would do if something happened in public.