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Recognizing that something has to change is the first step

Safety Planning

You are never to blame for the abusive actions of others. While responsibility for ending abusive behavior is your partner’s and theirs alone, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself on your path to long-term safety. Our advocates are available 24/7 to help create a personalized safety plan that’s right for you.

Developing Safety Plans

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has an interactive safety planning page. You can call us to work through it together with support in ASL. Check out our tips for safety planning below.

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Internet Safety

The internet is a powerful tool for anyone experiencing domestic violence.
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Planning With Children

If you have children, identify ways to keep them safe when violence occurs — before it happens.
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Planning With Pets

Finding a safe place for your pets, documenting any abuse or threats towards them, and seeking help from domestic violence shelters that accommodate pets.

We don't give legal advice but there are legal resources available

Legal Protections

A protective order is a legal document intended to prohibit your partner from physically coming near you or harming or harassing you, your children, or other loved ones. You can apply for a protective order at courthouses. Protective orders may be able to put a stop to physical abuse, but they depend on your partner's adherence to the law and law enforcement's willingness to enforce the protective order. Psychological abuse is still possible, and a protective order should never replace a safety plan.

Learn More
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One way to stay safe is to remember to delete our number from your phone and clear your internet browser history after visiting our website

Internet Safety

The internet can be an essential resource to access help and information, and valuable platforms to connect with friends, family members, advocates, and service providers.

Safety Planning With Children

An effective safety plan includes personalized planning to keep your children safe at home and during any unsupervised time they may spend with your partner. That includes talking to your children about age-appropriate ways to protect themselves when violence occurs, as well as details and items to remember while preparing to leave an abusive situation and after.

  1. Remind them that their first responsibility is their own safety

    Teach them that you want everyone to be safe and that the preparations you’re making are to ensure their safety and everyone else’s during an emergency.

  2. Never blame your children for their responses to your partner's abusive behavior

    Even if they intentionally or unintentionally reveal your plan to leave. Make sure they know the violence isn’t their fault and that abuse is never okay, even when it comes from someone they love.

  3. Your partner may try to use your children to harm you

    They may abuse, threaten, harrass, or manipulate them. Examples include preventing you from seeing your children, calling or threatening to call police or immigration enforcement to gain custody of your children, humiliating you in front of them, using your children to monitor your behavior, or lying to your children to turn them against you.

  4. It's important that your children have access to safe people other than yourself

    Help them identify these people in their life and make sure they can contact them when needed. If possible, enroll them in a culturally relevant counseling program or therapy specializing in child counseling. Many domestic violence shelters offer children's counseling.

  5. Children who experience abusive situations are forced to process complex emotions

    Planning for your children's physical and emotional health is essential for their short-term and long-term wellbeing, no matter how old they are.

Safety Planning With Pets

According to Safe Place for Pets, up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusive partners because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave. In many cases, victims of domestic violence may try to take their pets with them when they are able to leave the relationship but find that their local domestic violence shelters do not accept pets. Fortunately, this is changing, and shelters for domestic violence and abuse victims are beginning to create spaces for pets.

Safe Havens Mapping Project

Looking for a safe haven for you and your pet? Check the Safe Havens Mapping Project to find safe havens for your pets.
Safe Havens Map
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