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Safety planning is critical for individuals that want an organized plan to avoid or to react to danger scenarios. If you feel like you may be in an abusive situation, whether it is happening now or might happen in the future, having a safety plan is recommended. While each safety plan is different, it can include information about how others can help you in a time of need, how you can protect yourself and others around you in an abusive situation, and resources that you can contact if you feel threatened.

Listed below are some tips on safety planning for specific situations. If you would like further help, please contact the CARDV helpline.

Safety Planning Tips


Safety while living with an abusive partner

-Find escape routes in your home that are away from weapons

-Have many practical reasons for leaving your home at different times of the day

-Keep a charged phone near you at all times

-Discuss code words or signals with a trusted friend or family member in case of an emergency

-Keep an emergency bag hidden in case you have to leave suddenly

Safety with children

-Teach your children how to escape safely

-Remind them not to intervene in a violent situation

-Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency

-Have a plan of where the children can go in an emergency (trusted neighbor, grandparents, etc.)


Safety with pets

-Ask trusted friends or family members to provide a temporary home for your pet

-Local pet programs can assist in caring for animals while you are seeking safety.  CARDV can assist in making necessary arrangements.

-If the abuser has the pet, ask law enforcement officers if they can intervene

-If you have left your abuser and have your pet, consider changing veterinarians


Checklist of Emergency Situation Items

-Order of protection copy

-Birth certificate

-Vaccination and medical records

-Social Security cards

-Welfare identification

-Green cards

-Driver’s license and registration


-Address book



-Credit cards


Resources on Safety Planning