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Do you have concerns for or about:

  • Threats your partner/family member/friend has made
  • Weapons
  • Your safety at home, work, or school
  • Your children’s safety
  • Your pet’s safety
  • Your friends or family
  • Your physical, emotional, and mental safety

Safety plans can be made for a variety of situations: for dealing with an emergency, such as when you are threatened with a physical assault or an assault has occurred; for continuing to live with or to date a partner who has caused you harm; or for protecting yourself after you have ended a relationship with a harm doer.

If you have experienced violence, you probably know more about safety planning and risk assessment than you might realize. Being in a violent situation and surviving, requires considerable skill and resourcefulness. Any time you do or say something as a way to protect yourself or your children, you are assessing risk and enacting a safety plan. You do it all the time; it’s just not always a conscious process.

If you are planning to leave your partner or already have left, be aware that people who harm others, often escalate their violence during times of separation, increasing your risk for harm, including serious and life-threatening injury. Making a separation safety plan can help reduce the risks to you and/or your children.

Only you can judge who it’s safe to tell about your situation and who to ask for help. Sometimes, those who don’t have up to date or correct information about sexual or domestic violence respond to people who have experienced violence in ways that may not be helpful, even when they mean well. On the other hand, you might feel comfortable asking for help from someone you know. It’s your decision. The important thing is for you to identify all the people who might be willing and able to help. Make a list of their phone numbers and attach it to your safety plan for easy reference.

You don’t have to wait for an emergency to ask for help. In fact, it may be a good idea to talk to people who can help before there’s a crisis. Find out what they are willing and able to do for you. That way, you’ll know in advance if you have a place to stay, a source of financial assistance or a safe person to keep copies of important papers.

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You can create a safety plan online here:

Or download the myPlan app:

Learn more about how to help someone you know who may be experiencing domestic violence or experiencing sexual violence.