A safety plan isn’t an escape plan.
It’s more than that.

It’s a personalized, practical plan for ways to stay safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or even after you leave. It is custom to you and your circumstances. You can use this plan as a tool when faced with difficult, scary, or potentially dangerous situations with your partner, because your safety is paramount.

When you’re ready to take the first step towards finding support, a safety plan is a great place to start. Click here to reach out to the shelter or transition house nearest you for assistance in making your personalized safety plan. They are real people here for you 24/7 by phone, text, and email. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number.

Different shelters have different processes in developing your personal safety plans, but they all address the following factors:

Identifying Danger

Establishing potential triggers and behaviours in your partner, past and present, that made you fear for your safety. This could include situations that resulted in danger to your physical, emotional, or psychological health.

Assessing Risk

Identifying the level of risk. This may include speaking about your partner’s actions or reactions to those triggers, be it emotional or physical. This helps shelter staff determine the best and safest way to support you.

Planning for Safety

Exploring safety strategies that work for you. Different strategies work for different forms of abuse. Shelter staff can help you develop custom strategies to increase your safety.

Practice Practice Practice

Rehearsing. After developing your safety plan, shelter staff will encourage you to rehearse it. This way it’s easier to implement if you ever need to use it.

When you call…

The safest way to call or receive calls from a shelter is from a friend’s phone, a public phone, a work phone, or any telephone that your partner cannot access. It’s true that domestic violence situations can become more dangerous when you decide to leave, but shelter staff are here to help you and your family through it in the safest way possible. You have options; let’s talk about them.