Safety planning can be key to supporting the well-being of yourself and other family members. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (TheHotline.org) explains that a safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safer while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after an individual has left an abusive relationship.
Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action, and more. A good safety plan will have all of the vital information tailored to a unique situation and will also explore different scenarios.
Although some of the things that are outlined in a safety plan may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that in moments of crisis the brain doesn’t function the same way as when things are calm. When adrenaline is pumping it can be hard to think clearly or make logical decisions about safety. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help support personal safety in those stressful moments.
Below are a number of tools to help develop individualized practical safety plans. It is important to remember that the victim/survivor is the expert on the safety planning process and should only include ideas they think will work for them in their plan.
As with all literature related to domestic violence, victims/survivors should be very careful about where safety plans are kept, as the abusive individual may search their belongings, emails, telephone logs, social media, and other areas people would assume are private.
For additional information please go to DCCADV.org for resources provided by the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.