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Safety Planning: 

Leaving a person causing harm

Take a look at everything on the “Living with a person doing harm” list for ideas that may still be helpful.
Research tells us that women are at increased risk while in the process of leaving an abusive relationship.  Special care and consideration must be taken when leaving an abusive relationship.


  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.

  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets. Help with childcare or transportation.

  3. Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.

  4. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.

  5. Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.

  6. How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house at different time of the day - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave. 

  7. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.

  8. Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.

  9. Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures.

  10. If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.

  11. Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.

  12. Contact your local battered women’s shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.

  13. Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible.

  14. Acquire job skills or take courses at a community college as you can.

  15. You may request a police stand-by or escort while you leave


Review your safety plan often.


Items to Take If Possible:

Children (if it is safe),

MoneyKeys to car, house, work

Extra clothes


Important papers for you and your children

Birth certificatesSocial security cards

School and medical records

Bankbooks, credit cards

Driver's license

Car registration

Welfare identification

Passports, green cards, work permits

Lease/rental agreement

Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills

Insurance papers

Income Tax Returns and pay stubs

PPO, divorce papers, custody orders

Address book

Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you

Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)

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