Making a Safety PlanTOP
You might not be ready to leave your relationship at the moment, but it is a good idea to put plans in place so that if you have to leave at short notice you are as prepared as possible.
This extends to the children. It is vitally important that children who live in homes where there is violence have a simple and easily understood plan so they know what to do when domestic violence is occurring or their safety is threatened. If you have any concerns about children in the care of the perpetrator, report those concerns to The Department for Child Protection or seek legal advice. See section 3g : Accessing Legal Services
Safety Planning Includes thinking about:
- Who can I ask for help;
- Key emergency assistance contact numbers;
- When should I go;
- Where should I go;
- How will I get there;
- Have some cash available for emergencies;
- Keep valuables, documents and medicines in a bag somewhere that your partner can't access – perhaps at a friend's or trusted family member's house;
- Keep bag, purse, keys and safe phone somewhere they can be accessed quickly and safely; and
- Plan and practice your escape route – are there keys near the front door if it's kept locked; is your car positioned for a quick exit?
Personal Safety Plan TemplateTOP
Simple Safety Plan for ChildrenTOP
Plans for PetsTOP
The safety of yourself and your children is your first priority, but you might also consider making plans for pets. You may wish to take them with you, but unfortunately most refuges will not allow pets.
You might be able to arrange to drop pets off with a trusted friend for a short period until you are able to take them back. Another option is the RSPCA pet fostering arrangement. More information on that can be found at the RSPCA website. Arranging this in advance will allow you to leave without hesitation when the time comes.
Further information in relation to safety planning can be found at the 1800 Respect website.