Safety Plan

1. Safety During an Explosive Incident
2. Safety When Preparing to Leave
3. Safety In Your Own Home
4. Safety With an Order for Protection
5. Safety On the Job and In Public
6. Your Safety and Emotional Health
7. If You Are a Teen In a Violent Dating Relationship
8. Checklist: Suggestions of What To Take When You Leave
9. Organizations That Can Help

1. Safety During an Explosive Incident

    • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to move to a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen or anywhere near weapons.
    • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairwell would be best.
    • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
    • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
    • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don't think you will need to).
    • Use your own instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he or she wants to calm him or her down. You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
    • Always remember - You don't deserve to be hit or threatened.
    • Contact Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services to speak with a trained advocate for support and to discuss more ways to plan for your safety.

2. Safety When Preparing to Leave

    • Open a savings account in your own name to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
    • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
    • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
    • Contact Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to speak with a trained advocate for support and to discuss information on emergency housing options.
    • Keep the local emergency shelter phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls. Remember that phone calls can be traced so make sure you are making calls from a secure phone.
    • Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. Remember - Leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.
    • If you are using the internet to research ways to leave or e-mail people in your planning process, make sure you are using a secure computer. It may be possible for your partner to see which websites you have accessed or check your e-mail history from a home computer.

3. Safety In Your Own Home

    • Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
    • Contact Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to speak with a trained advocate for support and to develop a personal safety plan for you and your family.
    • Discuss the safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
    • Inform your children's school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.
    • Inform neighbors, landlord, and friends that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him or her near your home.

4. Safety With a Protection Order

    • Keep your Protection Order on you at all times. (When you change your purse this item should be the first thing that goes in the new purse.)
    • Contact an advocate at Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to get information on how to obtain a Protection Order.
    • Call the police if your partner violates the Protection Order.
    • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
    • Inform family, friends, neighbors, and your workplace that you have a Protection Order in effect. Consider giving people at work or school a picture of your partner so that they will know immediately to call the police when they see him or her.

5. Safety On the Job and In Public

    • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security (provide a picture of your batterer if possible).
    • Contact Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to speak with a trained advocate for support and to discuss more ways to plan for your safety.
    • Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
    • Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus or train. Use a variety of routes to get home by if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home (i.e., in your car, on the bus, etc).

6. Your Safety and Emotional Health

    • If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
    • Contact Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to speak with a trained advocate for support and to discuss more ways to plan for your safety.
    • If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so (e.g., public location).
    • Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
    • Read books and articles to help you feel stronger.
    • Decide who you can call to talk freely and openly to give you the support you need.
    • Plan to attend a women's or victim's support group to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.

7. If You Are a Teen In a Violent Dating Relationship

    • Decide which friend, teacher, relative or police officer you can tell.
    • Contact an advocate at Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to receive more information about obtaining an Order for Protection and creating a personal safety plan.
    • If you are over 13, you have the right to receive advocacy services or mental health services with our without your parent’s support.

8. Checklist: Suggestions of What to Take When You Leave

    • Identification
    • Driver's license
    • Children's birth certificate
    • Your birth certificate
    • Money
    • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
    • Bank books
    • Checkbooks
    • Insurance papers
    • House and car keys
    • Medications
    • Small objects you could sell
    • Address book
    • Pictures
    • Medical records of all your family members
    • Social security card
    • Welfare identification
    • School records
    • Work permits
    • Green card
    • Passport
    • Divorce or paternity papers
    • Jewelry
    • Children's small toys
    • Other

9. Organizations That Can Help

    • Police-emergency response: 9-1-1
    • SDVSAS 24-hour hotline: 1-888-336-9591
    • WA State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-562-6025