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Creating a Safety Plan

If You Stay, Stay Safe

  • Listen to your instincts do whatever it takes to stay safe. Plan how you will get away safely no matter where you are.
  • Be careful not to “give away” your safety plan to your abuser.
  • Memorize the phone number for the Crisis Line 970-586-4000. In an emergency, dial 911.

If You Leave Be Safe And Prepared

  • Have an extra set of keys made and keep them in a safe place.
  • Have a copy of any relevant documents and keep in a safe place.

If you are in danger, call 911, or your local Hotline, U.S. National Domestic Violence
Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

If you consider leaving your abuser,  here are tips to think about.

  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.
  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
  3. Keep change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.
  4. Open a bank account or get a credit card in your name.
  5. Think how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.
  6. Think how you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your kids with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself and your children.
  7. Put together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  8. Review your safety plan regularly.

Items To Take if Possible

  • Children (if it is safe)
  • Money
  • Keys to car, house, work
  • Extra clothes
  • Medicine
  • Important papers for you and your children
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • School and medical records
  • Bankbooks, credit cards
  • Driver's license
  • Car registration
  • Welfare identification
  • Passports, green cards, work permits
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
  • Insurance papers
  • PPO, divorce papers, custody orders
  • Address book
  • Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
  • Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)


If you have left your abuser, think about:

  1. Your safety - you still need to.
  2. Getting a cell phone. HAVEN may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed only to call 911. These phones are for when you need to call the police and cannot get to any other phone.
  3. Get a PPO from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
  4. Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.
  5. Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.
  6. Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a PPO protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.
  7. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a PPO that includes where you work, consider giving your boss a copy of it and a picture of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace. This should include going to and from work.
  8. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
  9. Someone that you can call if you feel down. Call that person if you are thinking about going to a support group or workshop.
  10. The safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.
  11. Going over your safety plan often.