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Safety Planning: Living Separated

Take a look at the first two lists (“Living with an Abuser” and “Leaving an Abuser”) for ideas that will still help.


It is important to remember that when abuser feel a loss of control over their partner, like she tries to leave the relationship, the abuse often gets worse.  Take special care when you are leaving and even after you have left the abusive relationship.


  1. Getting a cell phone. Your local domestic violence program or the local police department may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911.

  2. Getting a protective order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Consider giving a copy to the police, your child’s caregiver, their schools and your employer.

  3. Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights. Contact local community resources such as a domestic violence center of local church to seek assistance with these costs if needed.

  4. Changing your phone number.

  5. Make sure your smoke detector works.

  6. Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.

  7. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a protective order or a criminal no contact order that includes where you work, consider giving your employer a copy of it and a picture of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace which includes going to and from work. Consider changing your hours or your route you take to work.

  8. Consider renting a post office box or using the address of a friend or family member for your mail.

  9. Reschedule appointments that the abuser is aware of.

  10. Call the telephone company to request caller ID.  Ask that your phone number be blocked so that if you call anyone, neither your partner nor anyone else will be able to get your new number.

  11. Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.

  12. Plan ahead for unexpected encounters at the grocery store, bank, parks, etc.

  13. If you must meet your partner, consider doing it in a public place.

  14. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.

  15. A safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.

  16. Think about what you would do if your abuser moved back in.

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