Safety Planning

The following steps represent options for increasing safety and preparing for possible further violence. Although you do not have control other another person’s violent behavior, you do have choices in how to respond and seek safety.

Safety During Violence

  • If possible, avoid kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and rooms with no exit
  • Always keep your purse/wallet, keys, and vehicle nearly in case you need to leave quickly
  • Tell trusted neighbors and request that they call 9-1-1 if they hear a disturbance in your residence
  • Establish a code word or phrase that will alert friends, family, children, etc. to call 9-1-1

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Open a bank account in your own name
  • Get a PO box in your name
  • Leave a packed bag with copies of important documents and keys with someone you trust
  • Review your safety plan and a safe escape route. Teach to children if applicable
  • Contact local Police Department to request a “civil assist,” where officers will remain present when you move out, to prevent a violent altercation

Safety After Leaving (The most dangerous time)

  • Drive alternate routes from the usual routes you take in your daily routine
  • Alert employer, co-workers, and neighbors of abuser’s vehicle and appearance and request that they call 9-1-1 if they see them.(More vigilant eyes, the better.)
  • Consider obtaining a protective order-keep a copy with you at all times
  • Change your phone number, and other shared login information your abuser can access
  • Change/add locks on doors and windows
  • Install security systems or window bars, poles to wedge doors, peep holes, additional lighting, and any additional security measures
  • Treat any threat as serious and report to law enforcement to establish documentation

Lease Termination

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking who meet certain criteria may be eligible to terminate a lease without liability for future rent and other sums due under lease for terminating the lease early. Victim Services can assist with this.