The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when a victim begins to take their power back and when the relationship is coming to an end.
Having a safety plan is SUPER important.
What is a safety plan?
A safety plan is a personalized plan that helps you determine practical ways to remain safe while in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, before planning to leave or after you leave.
Why should you create a safety plan?
If you suspect your dating partner/friend is abusive here's the top 5 reasons for creating a safety plan.
Empowers you to regain control of the situation.
Helps you focus on safety needs.
Helps you create a support network.
Connects you with needed resources.
Let's practice safety planning ↓
Below are some questions you can answer to start safety planning. If you would like an advocate to help you create your safety plan call or text 888-606-4673. Click below for a downloadable safety plan that you can fill out.
Which adults can you talk to about your situation?
Talking to a trusted adult can seem scary but having an adult filled in on what's going on in your relationship can help ensure you are safe. Think of a trusted adult in your life it could be a parent, guardian, teacher, coach, mentor, or someone else you feel safe talking to.
Which friends/peers can you turn to for support?
Do you have a friend that you trust who you can talk to about the situation? Sometimes it can be easier to reach out to a friend or peer than an adult.
What are some things that you love to do?
Take a moment to think of some things that you love to do. Perhaps you love reading, spending time with friends, rollerskating, going on walks, seeing a movie, the list is endless and personalized to you.
What are some activities that make you feel happy/good about yourself?
Now let's think about some self-care activities that make you feel happy or good about yourself. Some common self-care techniques are working out, meditating, taking a bath, listening to music, eating good food. Self-care can be as simple as taking a shower or making your bed.
Where could you go quickly if you had to get away from your partner in an emergency?
A safe place could be a parent or relative's house, a friends house, school, your local library, a shelter. Any place that you would feel safe going in an emergency.
Who could you call to pick you up if you are stranded?
Think of your emergency contact list some people to consider could be a parent, guardian, older sibling, or a friend.
Do you have a few phone numbers memorized in case your partner takes or breaks your cell phone?
With all of our contacts easily saved in our phone we might not feel the need to memorize phone numbers anymore. It is always a good idea to have a few of your emergency contacts memorized.
Who can walk with you between classes and to/from school?
If your abusive partner goes to the same school as you or lives in close proximity to you it's a good idea to implement a buddy system. Think of a friend or peer who you can walk to classes with and if you walk to/from school everyday maybe there is a neighbor who can walk with you.
Can you change your schedule or routine to limit interaction with your partner or ex-partner?
You might be in some of the same classes as your partner or ex-partner or maybe you frequently run into them in-between classes. Check with a guidance counselor to see if you can adjust your schedule or try out different paths to class that limit interaction.
Does your partner know your passwords or have access to your online accounts?
If your partner knows your passwords or has access to your social media accounts you might want to consider changing your passwords and adding extra security protocols to your accounts. Many social media platforms now allow for a Two-Factor Authentication to get into an account for an extra layer of security.
Do you want to report the abuse to the police?
This can be a tough question and it is completely up to you if you would like to report abuse to the police. This is something you might want to consider before talking to someone who is a mandatory reporter. Learn more about who is a mandatory reporter here.
Do you want to apply for an order of protection?
An order of protection is a court order that is issued to stop a person from committing domestic violence or from contacting other people protected by the order. If you would like help filing for an order of protection our advocates are here to help, call or text 888-606-4673.