top of page

Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence

Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence


Provided by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network

General Safety Plan


  • Identify a variety of ways to get out of your home safely and practice using your escape route.

  • Pack a bag with medications, important documents, money, keys, etc. and hide it.  Consider changing the hiding spot if your abuser searches the home.

  • Arrange a signal wih neighbors to let them know when you need help (turning on a porch light during the day, pulling down a particular window shade).

  • Devise a code word to use with your children, grandchildren, friends, or others to indicate that you need the police.

  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave (even if you don't think you will need to).

  • If you have a cell phone, keep it at hand and charged.

Safety in Explosive Incidents
  • Try to go to a room or area with access to an exit.  Avoid rooms with no outside doors and those containing potential weapons (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garage).

  • Try to stay in a room with a phone to call 911, a friend, or neighbor.

  • Inform law enforcement if weapons are in the home.

  • Visualize your escape route and be prepared to use it if a safe opportunity arises.

  • Use your code word or special signal to tell your chidren or neighbors to call 911.

  • Use your instinct and judgment to safely assess what to do next.


Safety When Leaving
  • Open a savings account in your own name at a different bank. Consider direct deposit of your paycheck or benefit check.  Begin to increase your independence.

  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents and extra clothes with someone you trust.

  • Have your abuser's social security number and license plate number with you to provide to police.

  • Bring medications, prescriptions, hearing aids, glasses, etc.

  • Determine who would let you stay with them or lend you money.

  • Keep the domestic violence program number with you and have some change at all times for emergency phone calls.

  • If you are 60 years or older, contact Adult Protective Services to learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services.

  • Review your safety plan regularly to plan the safest way to leave.


Safety in Your Own Home (if your abuser does not live with you)
  • Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible.  Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure your windows.  Consider increasing your outside lighting.

  • If you have children or other dependents living with you, discuss a safety plan for when you are not with them.  Inform their school, day care, etc. about who has permission to pick them up.

  • Inform neighbors and your landlord that your abuser no longer lives with you, and they should call the police if they see your abuser near your home.


If You Are A Teen (in an abusive relationship)
  • Decide which friend, teacher, relative, or police officer you can tell.

  • Contact a local domestic violence program to learn about making a safety plan.


Safety & Protection Orders
  • Keep your protection order with you at all times.  If it is lost or destroyed, you can get another copy from the County Clerk of Courts.

  • Call the police if your abuser violates the protection order.

  • If your protection order is out of state, register it with your local police and/or clerk of courts.

  • Give copies to anyone with whom your children may stay (schools, day care, etc.).


Safety in Public (At school, work, or social, recreational, and volunteer activities)
  • Decide who to inform of your situation (school, office, or building security), and provide a picture of your abuser.  Consider having your phone calls screened.

  • Devise a safety plan for when you are out in public.  Have someone escort you to your car, bus, or taxi.  Use a variety of routes to go home and consider what you would do if something happened on your way home.


Safety & Emotional Health
  • If you are considering returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.

  • If you have to communicate with your abuser, do so in the safest way-by phone, mail, in the company of another person, etc.

  • Decide who you can talk to freely and who can provide the support you need.  Consider calling a domestic violence hotline or attending a support group.


What to Take if You Leave
  • Driver's license or other form of ID

  • Your birth certificate and those of family members

  • Money, bank books, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, mortgage payment book

  • Social Security card, work permit, green card, passport, insurance paper, medical records

  • Your abuser's social security number and license plate number

  • Divorce and custody papers

  • Copies of your protection order

  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed

  • Keys to house, car, office

  • Medications, glasses, hearing aids etc. for you and your children or other dependents

  • Personal items like address book, pictures, etc.


Important Phone Numbers
  • call Ohio Domestic Violence Network's 24 hour information line toll free at 1-800-934-9840 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Let us help create your safety plan

I currenly live in Williams County, Ohio

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page