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Safety Plan

Sistercare, Inc.
P.O. Box 1209, Columbia, SC 29202
Administrative Office: 803-926-0505
24-Hour Crisis Line Local: 803-765-9428

DEFINITION: A safety plan is a plan of action designed to help keep victims of domestic violence as safe as possible.

I. SAFETY DURING AN EXPLOSIVE INCIDENT

  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to get to a room or area that has access to an exit, and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.
     

  • Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, stairwell, or elevator would be best.
     

  • Have a packed bag ready. Keep it in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
     

  • Identify a neighbor who you can tell about the violence, and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
     

  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
     

  • Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home even if you do not think you will need to.
     

  • Use your own instincts and judgment to protect yourself until you are out of danger.
     

  • Always remember - You don't deserve to be hit or threatened.
     

II. SAFETY WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE

  • Open a bank account in your name to start establishing or increasing your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
     

  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust so that you can leave quickly.
     

  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you money.

  • Keep a domestic violence program phone number close at hand and keep a phone or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls.
     

  • Review the safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer.

III. SAFETY IN YOUR OWN HOME

  • Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.
     

  • Discuss a safety plan with your children for times when you are not with them.
     

  • Inform your children's school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.
     

  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him near your home.
     

IV. SAFETY WITH A PROTECTIVE ORDER

  • Keep your protective order on you at all times.
     

  • Call the police if your abuser breaks the protective order.
     

  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
     

  • Inform family, friends, neighbors, that you have a protective order in effect.
     

V. SAFETY ON THE JOB AND IN PUBLIC

  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security. Provide a picture of your batterer, if possible.
     

  • Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
     

  • Devise a safety plan for times when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your vehicle, cab or bus. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home, i.e., in your car, on the bus, etc.
     

VI. YOUR SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH

  • If you are thinking of returning to a potential abusive relationship, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
     

  • If you must communicate with your batterer, determine the safest way to do so.
     

  • Have positive thoughts about yourself. Read books, articles, and poems to help you feel stronger.
     

  • Be assertive about your needs. They are just as important as the needs of others.
     

  • Decide whom you can call to talk freely and openly, and to receive support when you need it.
     

  • Plan to attend a women's or victim's support group for at least two weeks to gain support from others and to learn more about yourself and the relationship.
     

 

 

 


 





P.O. Box 1029 | Columbia, SC 29202 | Office: 803.926.0505 | Crisis line: 803.765.9428 | Fax: 803-794-0098