Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter, Inc.

If you are hurt or in danger, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you are safe right now, call 1-800-834-2033. Advocates are available 24/7 to offer services, information, referrals, or just to listen.

Safety Plan

This plan offers suggestions to help you stay safer while you are in an abusive relationship or planning to leave one. An advocate is available to help you create a personalized safety plan at our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-834-2033.

1: Safety during an explosive incident.
   • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to move to a room or area where you have access to an exit  
     and phone. Avoid the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or anywhere else where weapons might be available.

   • Practice how to get out of your home safely.
   • Try to hide weapons or make them inaccessible if it is safe to do so.
   • Ask a trusted neighbor to call police if they hear a disturbance at your home.
   • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
   • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home. Always have gas in your car, and have
     an extra key.

   • Trust your own instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what
      he wants to calm
him down until you can get to safety. You have the right to protect yourself until you are
      out of danger.

2: Safety When Preparing to Leave.
  • Cellphones can have GPS tracking devices. If possible, get a new account or prepaid phone when you

  • Get a reloadable pre-paid debit card that you can put money on whenever able. Set aside small amounts
     of money when
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, extra medicines and clothes with
    someone you trust.

  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
  • Keep the shelter and important phone numbers handy. Consider hiding a prepaid phone for emergency
    use, or so your
abuser cannot monitor your phone records.
  • Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer.

3: Safety In Your Own Home
  • Change the locks on your doors as soon as possible. Buy additional locks and safety devices to secure
    your windows.

  • Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform your Children’s school, etc.
  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the
    police if they see him
near your home.

4: Safety With A Protective Order
  • Keep your protective order on you at all times. Keep one in your purse, car, etc. Give a copy to a trusted
    neighbor or family member.

  • Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
  • Inform family, friends, neighbors and your physician or health care provider that you have a protective
    order in effect.

5: Safety On The Job and in Public

  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security.
    Provide a picture of the batterer and vehicle if possible.

  • Change your regular routine. Consider different routes to work, school, etc.
  • Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, or bus and wait with
    you until you are safely en route. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible.

  • Think about what you would do if something happened while going home (in your car, on the bus, etc.).
  • Always drive to a well-lit, populated location if you feel you are being followed.

6: Safety and Technology
  • Your computer activity can be monitored. It is impossible to delete all trace of your activities. If you are
    being monitored, it may be dangerous to delete your history if that is not your regular habit.

  • When looking up information about getting help, escape plans, new jobs, or places to live, only use a
    safe computer that your abuser does not have access to.

  • Your calls from a cell phone can be seen on your bill. Make calls to shelters, lawyers, or others for help
    from a public phone or a prepaid cell phone.

7: Your Safety & Emotional Health
  • If you’re thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone
    you trust.

  • If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so, generally in a very
    public spot.

  • Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs. Read books,
    articles and poems to help you feel stronger.

  • Decide who you can call to talk freely and openly to give you the support you need
  • Plan to attend a women’s or victim’s support group to gain support from others and learn more about
    yourself and the relationship.

Click here for a printable version

Checklist—What You Should Try To Take When You Leave

  _____Driver’s License
  _____Children's Birth Certificate
  _____Your Birth Certificate
  _____Social Security Cards
  _____DHS Identification

  _____Money and / or Credit Cards
  _____Bank Books
  _____Check Books

Legal Papers:
  _____Your Protective Order
  _____Lease, Rental agreement, House deeds and Papers
  _____Insurance papers, medical records (you and children)
  _____Work Permits / Visa
  _____Divorce Papers
  _____Custody Papers

  _____House and Car Keys
  _____Medications / Prescriptions
  _____Small Saleable Objects
  _____Address Book
  _____Pictures of you, Children and Abuser
  _____Children’s Small Toys
  _____Toiletries / Diapers
  _____Change of Clothes (Yourself / Children)