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abuse and don't know it?

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Developing a Safety Plan

Safety planning is a top priority, whether you choose to remain in the home or leave. Making a safety plan involves identifying actions to increase your safety and that of your children.

Below are some suggestions that might be helpful to you. Take one action at a time and start with the one that is easiest and safest for you.

Protecting yourself while living with an abuser:

  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse.

  • Think about your partner’s past use and level of force. This will help you predict what type of danger you and your children are facing and when to leave.

  • Tell your children that abuse is never right, even when someone they love is being abusive. Tell them the abuse isn't your fault or their fault; they did not cause it, and neither did you. Teach them it is important to keep safe when there is abuse.

  • Plan where to go in an emergency. Teach your children how to get help. Tell them not to get between you and your partner if there is violence. Plan a code word to signal they should get help or leave.

  • Don’t run to a place where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.

  • Create a plan to get out of your home safely and practice it with your children.

  • Ask your neighbours, friends and family to call the police if they hear sounds of abuse and to look after your children in an emergency.

  • If an argument is developing, move to a space where you can get outside easily.

  • Don’t go to a room where there is access to potential weapons (e.g. kitchen, workshop, bathroom).

  • If you are being hurt, protect your face with your arms around each side of your head, with your fingers locked together. Don’t wear scarves or long jewelry.

  • Park your car by backing it into the driveway and keep it fuelled.

  • Hide your keys, cell phone and some money near your escape route.

  • Have a list of phone numbers to call for help. Call the police if it is an emergency.

  • Your local shelter or police may be able to equip you with a panic button/cell phone.

  • Make sure all weapons and ammunition are hidden or removed from your home.

These tips and more at 


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