Safety Plan for Domestic Abuse

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You know when it’s time to leave. Having a plan & support teams will increase your successful departure.

Emergency Departure

  • Who to contact:
    • Local Police Department, ask for someone who specializes in domestic abuse. Let them know it’s time to leave. Ask for a Police escort (if you need it). Let them know of any weapons in the home or on the property.
    • Local Shelter. Ask for support in safety planning, arranging accommodations and local support agencies. Find a Shelter in Canada
    • Victim Services will also provide support in connecting you to your local shelter, arranging for counselling, clothing, etc. Victim Services of Ontario
    • Lawyer who specializes in Family Law. Legal Aid Ontario
  • If you are injured:
    • Seek medical attention! Be honest about how you were injured, ask them to document your injuries.
  • Rally Support
    • Tell a friend, neighbour or family member what is happening.
      • Have them store a bag of essential documents & items
      • Give them a completed copy of your Vital Information
      • Have an Emergency Code Word
  • Talk to a co-worker
    • Make them aware of your plans (your abuser may go to your work to try to find you)
    • Let them know that you may suddenly be absent from work (include this co-worker as a contact on your vital information sheet)

Gathering Essential Documents

Photocopy these documents and keep them with one of your Support People.

  • Birth certificates, Passports, Health Cards, Social Insurance Cards, Immigration Papers for all family members
  • Driver’s License, vehicle registration, insurance
  • School & vaccinations records
  • Bank statements, including account information
  • Income Tax & Notice of Assessment for all family members
  • Divorce papers, custody documents, court orders, restraining orders, marriage certificate
  • Recent photo of all family members (including abuser)
  • Credit cards, bank cards (photocopy both sides)
  • Utility bills, phone, cable, internet bills
  • List of all medications & pharmacy contact information

Gathering Essential Items

Pack a small bag for each person that will be leaving with you & store with a friend, neighbour or family member:

  • 3 days of clothing (socks, underwear, pants, shirts, jacket, pyjamas & shoes
  • 3 days of diapers, extra (empty) bottles, soother, etc. (if required)
  • Personal hygiene (tooth brush, tooth paste, deoderant)
  • Valuable jewellery, any cash you have saved

To-Do List

If it is possible, try to plan your exit as much as possible:

  • Open a seperate & secret bank account in your name (be clear that you are not to receive statements by mail, or inquiries by phone)
  • Gather cash, loose change, any money you can find – save as much as possible
  • Begin to move your essentials off property (to a friend, neighbour or store at work)
  • Plan your escape route
    • Doors & windows that open easily
    • Where will you seek safety (neighbour, local business) try to head for a public place – PLAN YOUR ROUTE!
    • Text your Support people

Support People

Follow this step-by-step guide so that your entire team of support knows exactly how to respond when it’s time:

  1. Decide on 3 people you can trust to respond effectively. Be sure that each member of your team has contact for the other members (cell phone #)
  2. Print out the Vital Information, complete it with as much detail as possible
  3. Make 2 copies and give 1 to each person who has agreed to respond.
  4. Establish a CODE WORD. A simple word that you will remember. cat, dog, tree, 123
  5. Share this code word with your support people.
  6. You will only have time to contact 1 person. It will be their responsibility to notify the rest of your team.
  7. They are to respond by calling 911 and giving the information you have listed on the Vital Information.
  8. Decide in advance when they will contact your other family or friends.
  9. Be sure each one knows where your Essential Items are stored so that they can get them to you as soon as possible.
  10. If required, establish a hiding place off property where you can safely meet someone for a ride to safety.
  11. DO NOT HAVE ANYONE RESPOND TO YOUR PROPERTY IN PERSON. This is for 911 only!!

Additional Resources

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