Safety Plan

Plan ahead:

  • Develop a plan with your children
  • Arrange to have a place to go – a hotel, a friend or family member’s house, a shelter, or even a busy parking lot if you must sleep in your car
  • Pack and hide an overnight bag with money, spare keys, paperwork, and other important items
  • Talk to safe people in your life: a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor could help with your safety
  • Open your own bank account to safely store money
  • Get a P.O. box and safety deposit box unknown to the abuser
  • Seek support from an advocate for more information

During an incident:

  • Children should have a plan to get away safely
  • Call the police for help (dial 911). If you can’t call, text 911
  • If you need to yell for help, do it. A neighbor might hear you and call the police
  • Get out if you can
  • If you leave, bring your important items in your overnight bag
  • Avoid rooms with sharp objects, hard surfaces, or only one exit, such as the kitchen and bathroom

When you’ve decided to get out of an abusive situation, but stay in your home:

  • Change the locks
  • Secure doors and windows
  • Arrange to have someone stay with you
  • Change your phone number, but keep copies of threatening or harassing messages
  • Obtain an Order for Protection
  • Document any stalking or harassing behavior by the abuser
  • Call the police if the abuser won’t leave you alone
  • Talk to trusted friends and family
  • Let a trusted neighbor know the abuser is not supposed to come to your home

At the workplace, school, and public places:

  • Inform your work, children’s daycare and schools
  • Give copies of your Order for Protection to work, children’s daycare and schools
  • Change your daily routine
  • Plan ahead for unexpected contact with the abuser
  • Document any contact from the abuser

Checklist of Important Items

These are the important items you should have with you when you decide to leave. Some of them can be kept somewhere other than at home. A person you trust could keep some of these items for you, or you could keep them at your workplace.

  • Money
  • Clothes and toiletries for a few nights
  • Medications for you and your children
  • Phone charger
  • Credit card & bank account information
  • Passwords and PINs to accounts
  • Car and house keys
  • Identification – driver’s license, passports, etc.
  • Important paperwork and extra copies:
    • Birth certificates for you and your children
    • Marriage license
    • Social security cards for you and your children
    • Your work-related items
    • Tax returns for at least the past two years and other tax documents
    • Immigration documents
    • Insurance information
    • Lease agreement
    • Mortgage papers
    • Vehicle title
    • Credit reports
    • Retirement plan documents
    • Divorce or other family law paperwork
    • Photos of valuable family assets to prove condition and existence (car, home)
    • Photos of apartment or rented home in case abuser damages it after you leave
    • Prescriptions for you and your children
    • Medical records for you and your children
    • Protection order or no-contact order
    • Police reports and case numbers
    • Other evidence of abuse
  • Phone numbers
    • Your local domestic violence agency (425-252-2873 for Snohomish County)
    • Any advocate you or your family has been working with
    • Lawyers
    • Legal aid
    • Children’s schools
    • Your doctor’s office
    • Other emergency contacts
  • For your children
    • Snacks & toys for comfort
    • Clothes
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Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish CountyWednesday, February 24th, 2021 at 11:01pm

We are honoring Kimberlé Crenshaw for the last week of Black History Month. She has made many great contributions including coining "intersectionality" and applying it to domestic violence work by demonstrating the importance of considering overlapping identities of survivors and their experiences!