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Safety Planning Worksheet

Safety planning is crucial for individuals who are in or trying to leave abusive relationships. This worksheet offers practical advice and resources to help you create a safety plan tailored to your unique situation.

Assess Your Risk
  1. What types of abuse have you experienced (physical, emotional, sexual, financial, psychological)? More information on the different types of abuse can be found here.

  2. Are there any warning signs or patterns that abuse is about to occur? If yes, what are they?

  3. Does your partner have access to weapons or other means of harm?

Identify Safe Spaces
  1. Where are some safe places where you can go in an emergency (e.g., a friend or family member's house, a domestic violence shelter, a public place)?

  2. What important phone numbers do you need to memorize (e.g., local shelters, hotlines such as the National Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-789-SAFE, trusted contacts).

Create a Communication Plan
  1. Create a code word or signal that you can use to alert others when you’re in danger. Make sure this word is common but not something you use everyday. For instance, you may consider calling a friend and acting like you’re ordering a pizza.

  2. Use a private or secure phone to contact trusted individuals or hotlines for support.

Strive for Financial Independence
  1. Secure important documents (e.g., identification, financial records, legal documents) in a safe place outside of your home if possible.

  2. If it’s safe to do so, open a separate bank account or set aside cash for emergency expenses.

Make Sure You’re Safe at Home
  1. Create a safety plan for your home, including where to go in case of violence and how to secure doors and windows.

  2. Consider installing security measures such as locks, alarms, or cameras.

Ensure Your Children’s Safety 
  1. Discuss your safety plans with your children. Tell them where they should go and whom they should contact if there’s an emergency. Make sure you’re using age appropriate words. Err on the side of giving too little information so that they don’t become scared.

  2. Practice escape routes.

Know your legal rights as a survivor of domestic violence! It could help save your life.


Once you’re out of the situation…

Seek Protective Orders and Legal Assistance
  1. Seek guidance from advocacy organizations or legal aid services for assistance navigating the legal system. Email me for any help you may need in this regard.

  2. Explore options for obtaining a protection from abuse order (a.k.a., restraining order) against your abuser.

  3. Seek legal assistance from organizations specializing in domestic violence cases, especially if you share a child in common with your perpetrator.

Reach Out for Emotional Support
  1. Talk to your friends and family members.

  2. Seek therapy. Remember, there’s no shame in being a survivor of domestic abuse. You’ve been traumatized. You need emotional support.

  3. Consider attending support groups so you can connect with others who have experienced similar situations and realize you are NOT alone.

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