Creating a Safety Plan
Safety plans are an important. They create a guide for survivors to follow when threatened.
The back of a hotel room has a map showing the nearest exit to the room. Elevators have warning signs that in event of fire, the stairway is a safer option. Schools hold fire and tornado drills. Businesses have disaster recovery plans. Planning for safety in the case of an unexpected event is a part of normal living.
For survivors of domestic violence, safety plans cover more than the unexpected. For many, their abuse is a daily or weekly occurrence, and they need to prepare. Safety plans for domestic violence survivors come in many forms. Each is unique and dependent on the person’s situation.
Some are unable to leave an abusive relationship (the factors involved in staying are many!). They need to plan for the times that have the potential to get ugly quickly. Perhaps the abuser has been out drinking with friends or the car breaks down or the kids are particularly naughty one day. Survivors know what is likely to trigger abuse and can make individual plans to remain safe during those times.
The act of leaving the relationship creates the most dangerous times for survivors, and they need to carefully plan to do so successfully. Before leaving, the survivor needs a place to go that is safe, where their abuser will not find them. They need a job or some way of providing money. They may need to plan for child or pet safety.
Leaving means a survivor may never see what is left behind again, and many survivors create a go-bag with necessary items like birth certificate and credit cards. Personal items may get packed, too.
No two safety plans look the same because no two situations are the same. The Compass Center offers free safety planning to any survivor of domestic or intimate partner violence, whether they are staying or leaving the relationship. Please call today to make an appointment to create your plan. 605-339-0116