Safety planning addresses the current risks that you have identified and prioritized. Create a plan for safety around each risk factor. These may include strategies for staying in a relationship or strategies for leaving a relationship, with personal safety serving as a crucial aspect of each. At this time, some of the suggestions may be appropriate for you and others may not apply. As a survivor of domestic violence, you do not have control over your partner’s violence, but you do have a choice about how to respond.
The most effective safety plan is one that is responsive to your current situation, regardless of the status of your relationship. Whether you stay in your home or plan to leave it, continue the relationship or wish to end it, your strategies may vary depending on context. Situations can change quickly, and if your partner’s behavior has escalated and becomes more violent, you may want to take additional precautions and prepare for the worst-case scenario.
The strategies below include options that may be useful at various stages of your relationship, and may need to be modified depending on immigration status, physical abilities, whether children are involved, if you are dependent on your partner or adult children for primary care, if you are ‘out’ or not, and/or if you are a minor and need to include a parent in this process. Above all, trust your own instincts about what options are best for you.