What is a safety planning and why is it important?
Safety planning involves thinking of things you can do to help keep you safe when you are living with abuse or violence.
Having a safety plan is essential regardless of your level of assessed risk. Every safety plan is unique and is based on the needs of each person.
There are different types of safety plans. These include safety plans when living with a perpetrator, escape plans, women who have escaped violence, work and public places safety plans.
Women who have escaped violence safety plan – in the home.
I have focused on a safety plan for women who have escaped violence to keep them safe with a home focus. I thought this would be the best option as that is predominantly the type of people Protective Group work with.
The following are some questions and things that should be considered for this kind of a safety plan:
Do you have a list of emergency contacts readily available? (000, local family violence contact, police, etc.)
Do you have a list of personal contacts readily available? (Include names, relationship to you, phone numbers, and addresses)
Do you have someone you can call who knows about your situation? Do you have a code word you can use in case of an emergency?
Do you have someone you can check in regularly with and have a plan in case they don’t hear from you when they should?
Are there any neighbours you know and trust that you can ask to call the police if they hear any violence or abuse?
Are there any neighbours you know and trust that you can ask to tell you if they see someone hanging around your home?
Do you have anyone you know and trust that you can leave important items with? (E.g. set of spare keys, copies of important documents, etc.)
Do you have a spare phone with credit?
You should keep a diary of any breaches / contact made by the perpetrator. Keep physical copies of any contact if possible (e.g. text messages, emails, and voice messages).
Do you have an exit route in case of an emergency? You should practise these exit routes.
If you need to leave your home in a hurry where could you go? (Name, relationship to you, phone number, address) You should have a few options in case anything goes wrong.
How would you leave? (Vehicle, public transport, someone pick you up)
If you have a vehicle are you able to park it somewhere that won’t prevent you from escaping? (E.g. park in street so not blocked in)
Who would be leaving with you? What are their care needs? (Children, adults, pets)
If you need to leave anyone behind where could they go? (E.g. pets: safe bed for pets RSPCA, family/friends)
Do you have an emergency bag ready if you need to leave quickly? This can include anything that is essential to you e.g. money, clothing, medication, important documents, keys, specific items for children.
Including any children in your safety plan is important and the following should be considered:
Talk to children about signs of danger.
Tell children it is not their job to get involved in any violence.
Teach your children emergency numbers and what they should say in the case of an emergency (e.g. their name and address).
Involve children in any exit routes you have made and practice with them.
Organise with your children a safe hiding spot for them to go to in case of an emergency.
Teach children not to answer any doors without you.
Have a code word you can use with your children in case of an emergency.
Technology safety is also important so the following should be considered:
Private/unlisted number, ask people to not give it out without your permission.
Program important numbers into all your phones.
Change social media accounts and check privacy settings.
Get a new email, ask people not to give it out without your permission.
Change passwords and pin numbers.
Make sure all passwords don’t include any identifiable information (e.g. date of birth).
Turn off all location settings.
Ask your family / friends not to put any of you information online.
Create a bank account in your name only.
Environment safety done with assessors but this is also something that a safety plan would include.
Safety Planning Session
If you would like to book a safety planning session with our assessors, please click below and make a request with Protective Group.