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Safety Planning

For victims of domestic violence


  • 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 911, a friend or a neighbor, if possible. Inform then if there are nay 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 leav the bag elsewhere if your abuser searches your home.
  • DEVISE A CODE WORD OR SIGNAL - Tell your child/ren, 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 JUDGEMET - 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 and sometimes it is best to placate the abuser - anything that works to protect yourself and your children.



  • HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO STAY - Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your child/ren or grandchildren.
  • CALL A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM SERVICE PROGRAM - Find out which services and shelters are available as options if you need them. 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.
  • CONTACT YOUR COUNTY AGING UNIT - If you are 60 or older, learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services such as Social Security, pensions, housing, transportation and medical insurance.
  • REVIEW YOUR SAFETY PLAN - Study and check your plans as often as possible in order to know the safest way to leave your abuser.
  • CONCERNS ABOUT IMMIGRATION STATUS - You may qualify under a law called the Violence Against Women Act. Talk to an immigration expert (not INS) or your local domestic violence victim services program (see tear-off sheet) for more information.

SAFETY IN YOU OWN HOME (If your 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 child/ren 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 up the children.
  • CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER - Screen your calls if you have an answering machine or caller ID. Save all messages with threats or that vilate any orders. Contact your local phone company about getting an unpublished number.
  • TALK TO NEIGHBORS AND LANDLORDS - Inform them that your 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 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. Your 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.

TAKE WITH YOU........................

  • 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 orders
  • 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 for social security card and all immigration related documents
  • Benefit card


  • THINK POSITIVE - You don't deserve to be hit or threatened. Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
  • READ! - Ask your local domestic violence victim service program and public library for materials that deal with domestic violence.
  • GET SUPPORT - Call a domestic violence crisis help-line and /or attend a women's or victims' support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship with your abuser.
  • DO WHAT IS SAFE FOR YOU - If you have to communicate with yor 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 hte abuser if possible. It is your right to request and expect condifentiality 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 your abuser work at the same place, discuss with your supervisor your options regarding scheduling, safety precautions, employee/family benefits.

This grant project was funded or partially funded by the State Protrection From Abuse as administered by Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline. "Further, the publicaiton shall state that "the opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are thos of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of hte Kansas Attorney General."

The Opnions, findings, conclusions, recommendations or points of view expressed in this publication are those of hte author, CCDC,KCSDV, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official position or policies of the Office of hte Kansas Attorney General or the U.S. Department of Justice.