Safety Planning



Information about spyware and technology tracing

Interactive Safety Plan

Emergency Checklist PDF


These are possible steps victims/survivors can take to increase their safety. A safety plan is a plan to reduce risk when faced with the threat of harm or actual harm. Safety plan will change as situations change. Everyone's safety plans will be different based on their unique risks and rewards.


Please keep in mind: These are general recommendations.

Trust your instincts about what is safe for you and your children. 

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Open savings and credit card accounts in your name only and specifically instruct institutions that your partner is not to have access.
  • Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents, extra medicine and clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  • Determine safe people you can stay with and how long you can stay.

Item Checklist:

  • Identification
    • Driver's License
    • Birth Certificate/ Children's Birth Certificates
    • Social Security Cards
    • Passports
  • Legal Papers
    • Orders of Protection
    • Lease, rental agreement or house deed
    • Car registration and insurance papers
    • Health and life insurance papers
    • Police reports
    • Medical records for you and your children
    • School records
    • Work permits/Green Card/Visa
    • Marriage license
    • Divorce and custody orders


  • Other
    • Medications
    • House and car keys
    • Cell phone
    • Address book


Safety During an Argument

  • Avoid the kitchen and bathroom Move to safer rooms with easier exits, like the first floor.
  • Tell trustworthy neighbors about the violence. Ask them to call the police if they hear or see any disturbance.
  • Devise a code word or signal to use with your children, family, friends, and trustworthy neighbors when you need the police.
  • Have an overnight bag ready if you need to leave quickly and know where it is located.
  • Have a plan for where you could go if you needed to leave. Be prepared even if you think you will never have to leave.

Safety in Your Own Home

  • Change the locks on your doors. Landlords are legally obligated to change locks within 24 hours if you are experiencing domestic violence.
  • Install locks on your windows. Renters, please check with your landlord first.
  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and to call the police if they see him or her near your home.
  • Install an outside lighting system that lights up when someone approaches your home.
  • Install a security system.

Safety at Work

  • Tell you boss, security staff, and/or EAP about situation.
  • See if your employer offers flexible work hours or if a transfer to another location is possible.
  • Ask the human resources department to help work out the best use of attendance and leave benefits, such as sick time, vacation, personal time, etc..
  • Give workplace security a picture of the abuser and copies of orders of protection.
  • Ask security staff for an escort to and from the car.
  • Devise a safety plan for leaving work, such as exiting through the back door.
  • Use a variety of routes to go home.

Safety at Orders of Protection

  • Keep your protective order on you at all times and give a copy to a trusted neighbor, friend or family member.
  • Call the police if your abuser violates the protective order. Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
  • Inform family, friends, neighbors and health care providers that you have a restraining order in effect.

Safety with Children

  • Teach children how to use the phone and consider getting children a cell phone to be used for emergencies.
  • Teach children a code word to be used to dial 911.
  • Tell the people who take care of children, including their school, who has permission to pick them up and make sure they know how to recognize those people.
  • Give the people who take care of children copies of orders of protection, custody and other court orders, and emergency numbers.
  • If children use social networking websites, talk to them about being very careful with what information they post there.


  • Change your routines
  • Inform family and friends.
  • Consider reporting to the police.
  • Keep a log of all stalking incidents, including date, time, location, type of incident, and witnesses.
  • Keep all evidence, including letters, emails, voicemails, and gifts received from abuser.

Safety with Technology - General Cell Phone Strategies

  • Lock your cell phone with a pass code.
  • Turn off location services on your phone and leave it on E-911 only.
  • Turn off the Bluetooth on your cell phone when it is not in use.
  • If you can, and you feel it’s safe, replace your current phone.
  • You can purchase a pay-as-you-go phone, one that isn’t connected to any accounts that the perpetrator might have access to. Make the purchase with cash to avoid the phone being connected with your personal information.
  • Think about your safety when getting rid of the monitored cell phone. Some abusers may escalate their abusive behavior if they think that the victim/survivor is removing their control and access.
  • Location tracking devices can also be hidden in gifts either to you or to family members. Look through anything that is new or was given as a gift.