Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Safety Planning: What to do Before and After

Domestic violence can often times be avoided if a safety plan is in order beforehand. It is important to understand that the presence of a safety plan does not necessarily eliminate domestic violence completely, however, it can do its part to help the victim when in danger.

According to www.utcourts.gov, making a safety plan now can help to keep everyone safe later. The following are a few guidelines for them.

      -Get rid of guns and ultimately weapons in your household
      -Install locks on all doors and windows. If this does not make a different to the perpetrator, then                     changing the locks will help
      -Install outside lighting and security cameras
      -Ask your phone company for an unlisted number
      -Plan and fully practice an escape route with the children of the home
      -Teach the children when and how to call 911
      -Know how to defend and protect yourself
      -Know the location of the nearest domestic violence shelter location
      -Have a “code word” to use with the children of the home, trusted family, friends and neighbors. Make          sure that it is not a word that a perpetrator would know and use.
      -Making several copies of the protective order (if this applies) is a good idea. It may need to be shown          to police and everyone else who is protected by the order.
      -Hide an emergency bag in a place that is easily accessible. Some possible items to include are: cash,              medicine, clothing, toiletries, extra keys, phone numbers, copies of important documents, driver’s                  license and insurance cards. 

During an attack at the home (if this is where it happens) here are some steps to follow:

      -Escape as fast as possible with the children! (it does not matter what time it is)
      -Call the police
      -Go to a domestic violence shelter if possible, if not go to a trusted friends house
      -Photo document injuries (if applicable)

If these steps for before and after a domestic violence stint are taken seriously and are practiced, the chances of a dangerous outcome are slimmed. 


  1. I would recommend to all victims of domestic violence that they create a safety plan with a victim advocate. Victims may contact their local law enforcement, shelter, or community resource center to speak with a victim advocate.

  2. As a victim advocate I would recommend victims of domestic violence meet with a victim advocate to complete a comprehensive safety plan. Victims may contact their local law enforcement, shelter or community resource center to speak with an advocate.