A safety plan is a personalized and specified plan that includes skillful ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after leaving.
Safety planning helps a survivor take power back while in their abusive relationship so they can begin to safely reconstruct their life. Many people also create safety plans that help them gain support from friends, family and neighbors. Having support while a survivor is attempting to get out of an abusive relationship is also important, since studies show that violence escalates when the survivor attempts to leave the abusive relationship.
When living with the abuser, the survivor should assess the level of aggression that the abuser takes on; being aware of the severity of the abuse and violence. Also, keeping a bag of important items that can be easily accessed if a survivor needed to ee; i.e. clothes, birth certi cates, social security cards, money, credit cards, etc. A survivor can assess who can be a resource if it comes time to leave the abusive relationship. If there are children, making an assessment of who can provide support for the survivor and the children. Lastly, keeping in mind if the violence was to escalate, law enforcement is always an option.
After a survivor leaves an abusive relationship, due to heightened safety concerns, it is recommended taking extra precautionary measures for safety. If a survivor has a restraining order, it is important to have copies made and have them accessible at work, home, school, and/or on their person. If the abuser begins to harass the survivor and stalk them, it is important to inform the police of this crime. Stalking is a crime and can be reported.