<< Go back to the Domestic Violence page

Safety Plan

Whether you decide to stay in your relationship or leave, the following are some of the many suggestions that a person may find in an individual safety plan. Bridges can help you to create a personalized safety plan that may work well for you.

Safety during a violent incident

You cannot always avoid incidents. In order to increase safety, you may use a variety of strategies:

Safety when preparing to leave

Battered women/men may frequently leave the residence they share with the battering partner. Leaving must be done with a careful plan in order to increase safety. Batterers often strike back when they believe that their partner is leaving a relationship. The following strategies may be helpful:

When leaving a battering partner, it is important to take certain items with you. It might be best to gather the following items and keep them in one central location. If you have to leave the residence in a hurry, you can grab them quickly. (driver's license, car registration, house keys, car keys, office keys, cash, credit cards, checkbook, ATM card, birth certificate, passport, children's birth certificates, social security cards, school and vaccination records, medications, medical records for all family members, welfare identification, green cards, divorce papers, lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book, bankbooks, insurance papers, address book, pictures, jewelry, children's favorite toys and/or blankets, items of special sentimental value)

Safety in my own residence

There are many things you can do to increase your safety in your own residence. It may be impossible to do everything at once, but safety measures can be added step by step.

Safety with a protection order

Many people who batter obey protection orders, but one can never be sure which violent partner will obey and which will violate protection orders. You may need to ask the police and courts to enforce your protection order. The following are some steps that you may take to help the enforcement of your protection order.

Safety on the job and in public

Each person must decide if and when s/he will tell others that s/he has been battered and may continue to be at risk. Friends, family, and coworkers can help to protect a survivor. Individuals should consider carefully which people to invite to help secure their safety. You might do any or all of the following: