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Safety Planning

No one deserves to be abused. If at any time you feel threatened or are being abused, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Below are a few safety planning guidelines to help with your situation. A Family Safety Center navigator can confidentially guide you through additional steps for preparing to safely leave a violent relationship. Call the center at 901-222-4400 to set up a private appointment.

Preparing for a violent incident:

  • When with the abuser, try to keep away from rooms containing dangerous objects, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Identify rooms with an exit. Know which doors, windows, elevators or stairwells to use.
  • Keep a packed bag with a friend, relative or neighbor. Be sure to include copies of important documents.
  • Tell one or more neighbors about the violence, and ask them to call the police if they notice/hear a disturbance.
  • Have a plan. Know where you will go if you decide to leave your home.

Safety with a protective order:

  • Always keep a copy of your protective order with you, including in your car, at work, at home and with close relatives.
  • Inform family members, friends and neighbors that you have a protective order in effect.
  • Call the police at 9-1-1 if your abuser violates the protective order.
  • Always have a backup plan you can use while waiting on the police to respond.
  • Always ask for police report numbers after calling the police.

Safety in your day-to-day life:

  • Keep windows and doors locked.
  • Develop a safety plan with your child(ren).
  • Inform your child(ren)’s school, day care or anyone who cares for your child(ren) which individuals have permission to pick up your child(ren).
  • Inform your neighbors if your abuser no longer lives with you, and ask them to call the police should they see the abuser.
  • Request to have your telephone number unlisted/unpublished.
  • Never call the abuser from your home or tell them where you live.

Safety on the job and in public:

  • Have someone with you at all times.
  • Use a variety of routes to and from home each day.
  • At work, inform management, a co-worker and security of your situation, and if possible, provide them with a picture of your abuser.
  • If possible, make arrangements to have calls screened.

Checklist – Below are a few of the items you should have with you when you leave:

  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Child(ren)’s birth certificate
  • Social Security cards
  • Military ID cards
  • Medications
  • Protective order
  • House and car keys
  • Divorce and custody papers
  • Address book
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Change of clothes for you and child(ren)

A Family Safety Center navigator can provide you with a complete checklist, as well as specific instructions for preparing to safely leave a violent relationship.