Cordova Family Resource Center

Making a Safety Plan

If you are in an unsafe situation, making a safety plan is
very important. 
Here are a few things to consider when making a plan.

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • If there is an argument, try to be in a place that has an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or room that may contain weapons.
  • Practice getting out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell to use.
  • Pack a bag and have it ready at a friend’s or relative’s house.
  • Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask them if they can 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.
  • Use your instincts and judgment. In a dangerous situation, give the abuser what he wants to calm him down.


REMEMBER:  You don’t deserve to be hit or threatened.

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • If possible, open a checking or savings account in your own name.
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes and medicines in a safe place or with someone you trust.
  • Get your own post office box.
  • Identify a safe place where you and your children can go or who can lend you money.
  • Always keep the shelter phone number and some change or a calling card on you for emergency phone calls.  If you have a cell phone, keep it with you (and charged) at all times.
  • If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place. (AWARE advocates can help with this.)

REMEMBER: Leaving your batterer is often the most dangerous time.

Checklist: What You Need To Take


  • Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Children’s Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards


  • Money and/or credit cards (in your name
  • Checking and/or savings account books


  • Protective Order
  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  • Car registration and insurance papers
  • Medical records for you and your children
  • Vaccination records
  • School records
  • Work permits/Green Card/Visa
  • Passport
  • Divorce and custody papers
  • Marriage license


  • Medications
  • House and car keys
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Address book
  • Pictures and sentimental items
  • Change of clothes for you and your children

Safety With a Protective Order

  • If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted you can request a protective order from the court. (Advocates can help with this.)
  • Once you have obtained a protective order, always keep it with you.
  • Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
  • Inform family members, friends, neighbors and school personnel that you have a protective order in effect.
  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond immediately

Safety In Your Own Residence

  • If you stay in your home, lock your windows and change the locks on your doors as soon as possible.
  • Develop a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform your child’s school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your child.
  • Inform neighbors and the landlord that your partner no longer lives with you, and they should call the police if they see him near your home.
  • Never call the abuser from your home; he may find out where you live.  Never tell the abuser where you live.
  • Request an unlisted/unpublished number from the telephone company.

Safety On The Job and In Public

  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation.  Include the office building security.  (If possible provide them with a picture of your batterer.)
  • When at work, if possible, have someone screen your telephone calls.
  • Have someone escort you to and from your car, bus, or home.
  • If at all possible, use a variety of routes to come and go from home.