Safety During an Explosive Incident

Go to an area that has an exit.
Not a bathroom (near hard surfaces), kitchen (knives), or near weapons.

Stay in a room with a phone.
Call 911, a friend, or a neighbor if possible. Inform them if there are weapons in the home.

Know your escape route.
Practice how to get out of your home safely. Visualize your escape route.

Have a packed bag ready.
Keep it hidden in a handy place in order to leave quickly, or leave the bag elsewhere if your abuser searches your home.

Devise a code word or signal.
Tell your children or neighbors so you can communicate to them that you need the police.

Know where you’re going.
Plan where you will go if you have to leave home, even if you don’t think you’ll need to.

Trust your judgement.
Consider anything that you feel will keep you safe and give you time to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it is better to flee, sometimes to placate the abuser- anything that works to protect yourself and the children.

Safety when Preparing to Leave


Have a safe place to stay.
Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your children or grandchildren.

Find someone you trust.
Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents, and clothing with them in advance, so you can leave quickly if necessary.

Open a savings account.
Put it in your name only, to increase your independence. Consider direct deposit from your paycheck or benefit check.

Contact your county aging unit.
If you are 60 or older, learn about eligibility for public and private benefits and services such as Social Security, housing, transportation, and medical insurance.

Review your safety plan.
Study and check your plans as often as possible in order to know the safest way to leave your abuser.

If you need to leave, take with you…

  • Marriage and Drivers License
  • Birth Certificates – yours and family’s
  • Money, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, payment books, car title.
  • Social Security Card, Passport
  • Divorce, custody papers, and PFA order
  • Insurance Papers and Medical Records
  • Lease, Rental Agreement, and House Deed
  • School and Health Records
  • Keys- house, car, office, friends
  • Medications, Glasses, Hearing Aids, etc.
  • Personal Items- address book, pictures, toys, etc.

Safety in Your Own Home

(If your abuser does not live with you)

Upgrade your security system.
Change the locks on doors and windows as soon as possible. Consider a security, service, window bars, better lighting, and motion detectors & fire extinguishers.

Have a safety plan.
Teach your children how to call the police or someone they can trust. Have a secret code word that your children agree on – to communicate trouble and for the people who are allowed to pick the children up.

Change your phone number. 
Screen your calls if you have an answering machine or caller ID. Save all messages with threats or that violate any orders. Contact your local phone company about getting an unpublished number.

Talk to neighbors and landlord.
Inform them that your abuser no longer lives with you and that htey should call the police if they see the abuser near your home.

Safety on the Job

Tell somebody.
Decide whom at work you will inform of your situation, especially if you have a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA). Provide a picture of the abuser if possible. It is your right to request and expect confidentiality from those you disclose to.

Screen your calls.
Arrange to have someone screen and log your telephone calls if possible.

Make a safety plan.
Create a safety plan for when you enter and leave your work place. Have someone escort you to your vehicle or other transportation. If you and your abuser work at the same place, discuss with your supervisor other options regarding scheduling, safety precautions, employee/family benefits.