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Safety planning is the process of evaluating the risks and benefits of different options and identifying ways to reduce the risks.

If you are a battered individual, you probably know more about safety planning and risk assessment than you might even realize. Being in a relationship with an abusive partner, and surviving, requires considerable skill and resourcefulness. Any time you do or say something as a way to protect yourself and/or your children, you are assessing risk and enacting a safety plan. You do it all the time. It's just not always a conscious process.

Safety plans can be made for a variety of different situations: for dealing with an emergency; for continuing to live with or to date a partner who has been abusive; or for protecting yourself after you have ended a relationship with an abusive partner.

If you are planning to leave your partner or have already left, be aware that batterers often are more violent during times of separation, increasing your risk for harm, including serious and life-threatening injury. Making a separation safety plan can help reduce the risks to you and your children.

Only you can judge whom it's safe to tell about your situation and whom to ask for help. The important thing is for you to identify all the possible people who might be willing and able to help you. Make a list with their phone numbers and attach it to your safety plan for easy reference.

You don't need to wait for an emergency to ask for help. In fact, it's a good idea to talk to people who can help before there is a crisis and find out what they're willing and able to do for you. That way, you'll know in advance if you have a place to stay, where to go for financial assistance, or a safe person who can keep copies of important papers for you.

It can sometimes be hard to ask for help, but you do not deserve to be abused. There is help available. You may need help, and most people really do want to help. The more specific you can be with them about what you need, the more likely it is that you'll get the help you're looking for.

A safety plan is a tool to assist you in identifying options, evaluating those options and committing to a plan to reduce your risk when confronted with the threat of harm or with actual harm. There's no right or wrong way to develop a safety plan. Use what applies to you; change it or add to it to reflect your particular situation. Make it your own, then review it regularly and make changes as needed.

You don't have to figure it all out on your own. You can ask us for help ... Call 1-888-252-9360 or 1-585-658-3940.


Click here for a Safety Plan that you can print and personalize







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