A woman reaches out for help. Illustration.

Making a safety plan

In moments of crisis, it can be hard to think clearly and make logical decisions. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help the victim to avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react if they are in danger.

A safety plan is a personalised, practical plan that articulates where the victim (and children) should go, how they would get there and what they would take with them.

If you become aware that someone you know or provide care for is experiencing DVA, you can help them to develop a safety plan.

The steps in a safety plan typically include:

  • Suggestions for increasing safety in the relationship
  • Suggestions for increasing safety when the relationship is over
  • Important phone numbers
  • Places where she could go to if she were in imminent danger (e.g. friends, family, refuge accommodation)
  • Packing an emergency bag and identifying somewhere safe to keep it (e.g. at a neighbour’s or a friend’s house, but trying to avoid mutual friends or family)
  • Copies of important personal and family documents such as her driving licence, passports, payslips, birth certificates and immunisation records
  • Details of bank accounts or credit cards

What do you think?

What else do you think practitioners can do to keep their patients safe?

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This article is from the free online course:

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence

The University of Sheffield