A safety plan is a personalized plan that a person can use to increase their safety during a dangerous or scary time in their life. A safety plan must be tailored to each person’s specific situation. Make sure your safety plan is in a place where you can get to it easily but where an abuser won’t find it.
You are the person most familiar with your situation, so trust yourself when making decisions about what’s going to keep you safe and what’s going to put you in more danger. Our Navigators are always available to help you make a plan if you need them. Update your plan every time your situation changes and think about giving a copy of your plan to someone you trust.
Tips for creating a safety plan
- First, take stock of what you will need if you have to leave in a hurry. An emergency bag stashed where your abuser can’t find it but where you can easily get to it is one of the most important parts of your safety plan. Include the following items in the bag:
- phone charger
- a change of clothes for you and your children
- an extra set of keys
- important documents
- Make up a signal with neighbors that you trust, such as flashing lights on and off, or hanging something from the window.
- Change your locks and keep doors and windows locked at all times.
- Create a code word to use with your children.
- Turn the location feature off on your phone and social media accounts, and teach your children about safe behavior with their phone, their computer, the internet, and social media.
- Get a second phone or burner phone if you’re able and keep it hidden from your abuser.
- If you have an Order of Protection, keep with you, and give a copy to a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member.
- Appoint a safe place or person to keep your important documents, including any evidence you have of your abuse.
- Be sure to discuss safety with your children and make sure they know how to get help or where they should go if violence occurs.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to be put into contact with a Navigator to help make your plan. They are experienced and caring professionals who can help you figure out exactly what your situation may need. Remember to call 911 if you’re in immediate danger.
The Greene County Family Justice Center is a non-profit collaborative of local agencies offering comprehensive services to survivors of domestic, sexual, and family violence. Our services are trauma-informed, survivor-centered, and we welcome survivors at any point in their process. We partner with local non-profit service providers as well as local law enforcement, the Prosecutor’s office, and Children’s Division to make victim services more accessible and completely voluntary. If you do not want to participate in the criminal justice process, we support you.
Our vision is a future where we all work together to meet the needs of domestic violence and human trafficking survivors through comprehensive and accessible services, education, and perpetrator accountability. Through a coordinated framework and co-located response, we strive to break the vicious generational cycle and community impact of domestic violence and resulting victimizations.
We can help you plan for your safety whether you plan to stay in the relationship, or you are actively trying to escape. All our services are free, confidential and survivor centered. Have questions about what services are available? Visit us at 1418 E. Pythian Street or give us a call at 417-874-2600. We are open 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. For after-hours assistance, call the Harmony House/Victim Center’s 24-hour safe line at 417-864-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.