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Safety Planning for Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Domestic Violence Safety Plan.

domestic violence

Authors Note:

My name is Nik and I am a domestic violence survivor. My story is for another day, but I wanted to say that the information below is a general outline. Leaving an abuser is scary. It’s lonely, stressful, and can be very dangerous. I understand that it’s not as easy as just following a list. You may not have anyone around for support, you may not have access to documents or be restricted from cash flow funds. If you find yourself in a position where even this list is out of your reach, click here to get in touch. We will find you the help you need. And friendly reminder to wipe the history mentioning this article or any other articles relating to leaving your abuser.

Leaving Your Abuser

Leaving an abusive partner is never easy, and it can be incredibly dangerous. The most important thing is keeping you safe or you and your family safe. Creating a safety plan is a great first step to leaving.

What is a safety plan?

A safety plan is a personalized plan that outlines steps you can take to protect yourself and your children from your abuser. Here are some important steps you can take when creating a safety plan:

Create a support network

Before you leave, make sure you have a support network in place. This can include family members, friends, a therapist, a domestic violence hotline, or a support group. Having a support network can help you feel less alone and can provide you with practical and emotional support.

Gather important documents

Make sure you gather important documents like your ID, passport, birth certificate, social security card, and any legal documents related to your children or your home. Keep these documents in a safe and accessible place, like a lockbox or with a trusted friend or family member.

Pack an emergency bag

Prepare an emergency bag with essential items you might need if you need to leave quickly. This can include clothes, toiletries, medication, and any important documents. Keep the bag in a safe and accessible place, like in your car or with a trusted friend or family member.

Create a safety plan for your children

If you have children, it's important to create a safety plan for them as well. This can include talking to them about what to do if they feel scared or unsafe, identifying a safe place they can go to if needed, and creating a code word or signal they can use to let you know if they need help.

Plan your escape route

Before you leave, plan your escape route. Identify multiple ways to leave your home, including windows and doors, and practice using them. Make sure you know how to lock and unlock doors and windows quickly and quietly.

Notify others of your plans

Let trusted friends, family members, or coworkers know about your plans to leave.

Get professional help

It's important to get professional help when leaving an abusive partner. Working with a therapist or counselor, contacting a domestic violence hotline or shelter, or working with an attorney to get a restraining order or file for divorce might be options for you to explore.

You Are Not Alone

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and lacks access to resources or money to leave, it's important to remember that there is help available. You are not alone, and you deserve to live a life free from abuse.

There are organizations and hotlines that can provide support and resources, including safety planning, counseling, and emergency shelter.

While leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult and complicated, know that you have options and there are people who care about your safety and well-being


Here is a great resource that can help you devise specific strategies for your own safety plan

Here is domestic violence facts and national/local resources

Here is a local resource for those in Arizona who may need emergency funds.

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