Safety Planning & What To Take

Leaving is often the scariest and most dangerous time of an abusive relationship. It is important to develop a safety plan. Safety planning focuses on the immediate needs of the victim(s) and addresses the level or risk for danger.

Development of a safety plan should include:

  • Safety strategies and risk assessment during a violent incident
  • Safety strategies to consider when leaving
  • Safety strategies for daily living in a violent home
  • Safety strategies on the job and in public
  • Safety strategies for your mental health
  • Safety strategies if drugs or alcohol consumption is present
  • Safety strategies for the children

Here are a few general safety plan tips:

  1. Identify a variety of ways to get out of your home safely and practice your escape methods.
  2. Pack a bag with medications, important documents, money, and keys and hide it.
  3. Arrange a signal with neighbors to let them know when you need help.
  4. Devise a code word to use with your children, grandchildren, friends, or others to indicate that you need the police.
  5. Learn how to shut off GPS tracking devices in cell phones and vehicles.
  6. Plan where you will go if you have to leave.
  7. During an explosive incident, try to stay in a room with access to an exit (except the kitchen).
  8. Try to stay in a room with a phone to call 911.
  9. Inform law enforcement if weapons are in the home.

Brochure available

WomenSafe advocates are available to help you form safety planning strategies. A printable worksheet also available.  If you need immediate assistance, call the COPEline 888-285-5665.


When you decide to leave an abusive partner, it is important to take certain items. These items might best be placed in one location, so that if you leave in a hurry, you can grab them quickly.

Suggested items to take:

  • Identification
  • Your birth certificate
  • Children’s birth certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • School & vaccination records
  • Money
  • Checkbook, ATM card
  • Credit Cards
  • Keys-house/car/office
  • Driver’s license and registration
  • Medications
  • Welfare identification
  • Work permits
  • Green Card
  • Passport(s)
  • Divorce Papers
  • Medical records – for all family members
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book
  • Bank books
  • Insurance papers
  • Clothes
  • Address book
  • Pictures
  • Jewelry
  • Children’s favorite toys and/or blankets
  • Items of special sentimental value

Note: As many of these items you can gather are better then none at all.


Important telephone numbers:

  • Local police department
  • WomenSafe/COPEline (1-888-285-5665)
  • Legal Advocate
  • County registry of protection orders
  • Work number
  • Supervisor’s home number
  • Minister
  • Other
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