What You Can Do to Stay Safe

Planning for your safety and your children’s safety is critical. It may be helpful to discuss a safety plan with a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate. Advocates are available for ongoing support and help at community-based agencies and in many law enforcement and prosecution agencies. A safety plan may include the following:

Planning Ahead


  • Recognize the signs of abuse.
  • Develop a plan with your children.
  • Teach them how to call 911.
  • Have a safe place to go where the abuser can’t find you.
  • Talk to an advocate at a community agency
  • Make copies of important papers and hide them
  • Have important phone numbers available.
  • Pack and hide important items in an overnight bag for you and your children (i.e., clothes, papers, medication).
  • Put aside money and spare keys.
  • Consider getting a Domestic Violence Protection Order.
  • Use a safer computer that can’t be monitored by the abuser.

During an Incident


  • Call for help (9-1-1)! When calling from a cell phone, say your location first.
  • Get out if you can.
  • Bring important items listed above.

If you Can’t Leave the Situation


  • Call for help (911)!
  • Avoid the kitchen, bathroom, and garage.
  • Avoid rooms with only one exit.

In your House


  • Change locks, secure doors and windows, change passwords on accounts.
  • Arrange to have someone stay with you.
  • Change your phone number.
  • Notify trusted friends, family and neighbors.

At the Workplace, School & Public Places


  • Inform your work, daycare, school, trusted family, friends and neighbors.
  • Give them copies of Protection/No Contact Orders.
  • Change your daily routine.
  • Plan ahead for unexpected contact with the abuser.