Personal Safety Plan
Step 1: Know Your Resources. In addition to the support from campus and community organizations you probably have a network of friends and relatives who can aide you in your safety. There is a list of resources that you can utilize in your efforts to increase your safety. Click here for resources and websites
Step 2: Read over the following key elements to be taken into consideration during various situations (listed in bold) where your safety may be in danger. Choose the situation that describes your circumstance.
If you are concerned about your...
1. Safety during a violent incident at home or with a partner:
- Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will). For example, make arrangements beforehand to stay with a friend or relative if you need to leave, or have a shelter number on hand.
- Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence, and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
- Try to have or direct the argument to a room/area where you have access to an exit in case the abuser becomes violent. Keep in mind it should be a place where weapons are not accessible (for example the kitchen is dangerous due to knifes).
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it at a friend or relative’s home in case you need to leave quickly.
- Try to have as many of the following items organized as possible to take with you if you leave: ID’s, social security card, names of doctors, medications, cash/checkbook, car registration, school and vaccination records, copies of birth certificates, keys, and/or copy of order of protection.
- Trust your judgment! If the situation is very serious, give the abuser what he/she wants. You have the right to protect yourself until you (and your children) are out of danger.
2. Safety with an order of protection or an injunction against harassment:
- Keep your protective order with you at all times. Give a copy to a trusted neighbor or family member.
- Call the police if your partner or the abuser breaks the protective order!
- Think about how to protect yourself while you are waiting for the police to arrive.
- Inform family, friends, neighbors, and medical providers that you have a protective order in effect.
3. Safety in your own home (from a partner who does not live with you):
- Change the locks on your doors and secure windows.
- If you have children, create a safety plan with them. Come up with a secret code word only you and they know.
- Screen your calls using an answering machine, caller ID, or have a trusted friend/relative screen them.
- Inform landlord/neighbors that your partner does not live there and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.
- Secure your home by locking doors and windows, and by keeping entryways well-lit.
- Try not to leave or return to your home after dark without a trusted friend/relative with you.
- Always check the identity of the person(s) at your door before letting them into your home.
- You may want to leave a light or radio on at night when you are not home.
- If you have children, teach them to never open the door for anyone, and how to use 911.
- Call the police immediately if you feel you are in danger.
4. Safety on the job, and out and about in public:
- Find a trusted co-worker to inform about your situation. If you feel you need to, inform building security about a dangerous abuser.
- Plan out a safe route when you leave work. Try to vary the route each day. Also, think about what you might do if something happened on the way home, such as an automobile breakdown.
- Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Walk to and from your vehicle in open well-lit areas, preferably with a trusted friend.
- Be alert, especially in elevators, parking structures, lots, and laundromats.
- If you have to walk/go jogging alone, keep your head up, look around constantly, and go against traffic.
- When you leave, tell someone you trust where you are going, when you plan to return, and who you are with.
- If you’re being followed on the road, drive to a public area.
- Consider owning a cell phone for safety measures.
Step 3: Know Your Plan. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR ABILITIES TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS AND INCREASE YOUR SAFETY. Make lists of important phone numbers and actions you would take in different situations.