Domestic violence often gets more severe and more frequent over time. If you are in an abusive relationship, it may be the right time for you to consider your safety. Here are some things to consider, but it is important to remember that everyone’s safety plan should be unique to them and their personal circumstances. Therefore, NJCEDV recommends that you contact your local domestic violence program for specific and individualized support.
- Remember that planning for safety is an important and ongoing process whether you are staying in the relationship, planning to leave the relationship, or if you have already left the relationship.
- Safety plans should consider both your immediate and long term safety needs. Therefore, it can be helpful to periodically review and modify your safety plan over time.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Consider the following:
- Do I know where (my children and) I can go for safety in an emergency?
- Do I know where (my children and) I can go before an incident?
- Who can I safely inform about my situation?
- With whom or where can I keep copies of important papers, keys, money, clothing and other emergency items?
- Do I have a list of numbers I can contact in an emergency?
- Do I have a phone or other means of safely contacting emergency or community services?
- Is it safe for my children to have these numbers as well?
- Do I have an escape plan?
- Is it safe for my children to know about this plan? Is it safe to rehearse this plan with my children?
- What is my post-escape plan?
- Do I know where I can get post-escape help?
- Where can I board my animals?
If you are remaining in your house, remember to change your locks and keep your restraining order with you at all times. Contact your local program to help address these and other questions you may about how you can keep yourself safe from a current or former abusive partner.
Checklist of Important Items to Take with You
Birth Certificates for my children and me
Social Security Cards
School and Medical Records
Money, Bankbooks, Credit Cards
Drivers License and Vehicle Registrations
Auto Insurance Card
Change of Clothes for each family member
Pictures/Jewelry/Items of Sentimental Value
Children’s Favorite Toys and or Blanket
Passports(s)/Green Card(s)/Work Permits
Order of Protection
Previous Court Orders
Lease/Rental Agreement/House Deed
Mortgage Payment Book
Current Unpaid Bills