Making a Safety Plan
If you are in an abusive or violent relationship you are advised to have what’s known as a ‘Safety Plan’ ready. Having a Safety Plan ready helps you protect yourself and any children you may have, especially if you have to leave the family home in a hurry.
Below are suggestions which you might consider when making a Safety Plan:
• Is there a relative, friend or neighbour you trust? If so, think about telling them what is going on as you may need to go to them in an emergency.
• Prepare a bag for you, and any children you may have, with an extra set of house and car keys, money, a list of phone numbers you may need and a set of clothes each. Leave this bag with someone you trust.
• Keep your mobile phone with you at all times. Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone if you don’t have access to a mobile. This could be a public payphone, or one at a neighbour’s, friend’s or relative’s house.
• Write out a list of numbers you might need in an emergency. Include friends, relatives, local police, GP, Women's Aid, your nearest refuge. Remember, even if you have numbers stored in your mobile you may not be able to access or use it, so copy out all numbers you might need. Keep this list with you at all times.
• Keep a small amount of money with you at all times for phone calls and/or taxi, train or bus fares etc.
• If your children are old enough to understand, explain that you might have to leave in a hurry and make sure they know what to do if that happens. You could consider arranging a meeting point should you get separated from them.
• Teach your children to dial 999 if there is an emergency. Make sure they know what they will need to say: name, address and telephone number.
• If you think your partner is about to attack you, try to stay out of the kitchen or garage where there may be knives and/or other weapons. Try to stay away from small rooms such as the bathroom where you may find it difficult to escape an attack.
If you are thinking about leaving your partner contact Womens Aid (1800 341 900) or your local refuge for advice on how to do so safely. Men experiencing domestic violence can contact Amen (046 902 3718). Details of these and other local and national support services are available on this site.