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Plan for your safety

If you are involved with an abuser, you should know you are never safe. Sometimes you may feel he is getting better. Maybe he promises to change. You may think you can get him to act right if you are the "perfect" partner. But men who abuse their partners do not just "stop". In fact, abuse gets worse over time. It happens more often and gets more violent.

If you live with a batterer, you need to think about taking care of yourself.

Here are some ideas for increasing your safety in a violent home. Some ideas include leaving the relationship, even if only temporarily. Remember, there is NO excuse for abuse.


Safety Planning in an Abusive Relationship
  1. Before a violent encounter.
  2. If you are being assaulted by your partner.
  3. After an assault.
  4. Safety when leaving home.
  5. Making your home safe after the abuser leaves.
  6. Safety in the workplace.
  7. Safety in the community.

Before a violent encounter:
  • Practice getting out of the house quickly.
  • Keep your wallet and keys handy.
  • Tell a neighbor to call police if they hear strange noises.
  • Develop a code to signal them to call the police.
  • Teach your children how to dial 911.
  • Decide where you will go.
  • Call the Alabama crisis line 800-650-6522 to locate the nearest shelter.
  • Teach your children how to get out or find safety

If you are being assaulted by your partner:
  • Scream for help (and do not stop).
  • Do NOT run into a room that contains potential weapons such as the kitchen.
  • Do NOT run into a room with no exit such as the bathroom or a closet.
  • Call the police.
  • Try to get to a safe place such as a neighbor's house or public place.
Back to Planning

After an assault:
  • Get out of the house.
  • Get medical help. Your records could be evidence that could help you.
  • Tell someone you trust what happened (a doctor, counselor, relative, neighbor).
  • Call the Alabama crisis line.
  • Consider leaving even if just for the night.
Back to Planning

Safety when leaving home:
  • Store money, clothes and keys with a friend.
  • Open a savings account.
  • Memorize the Alabama crisis line number.
  • Keep copies of important documents.
  • Keep change for the phone.
Back to Planning

If you leave your abusive relationship, consider increasing your safety and protection by filing for a Protection From Abuse order.

Making your home safe after the abuser leaves:
  • Change the locks on your doors and windows.
  • Install an alarm system.
  • Add window bars.
  • Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
  • Put up outside lights.
  • Teach your children how to call collect.
  • Tell your children's teachers at school, day care or Sunday school who is allowed to pick them up--and who can NOT take them
  • Tell your friends, family, neighbors, that your partner no longer lives there and they should call the police if they see him.
Back to Planning

Safety in the workplace:
  • If you feel comfortable, tell your boss and coworkers. Your office may set up a safety policy.
  • Post your protection order.
  • Tell your co-workers to call the police if they see your batterer at the workplace.
  • Show them his picture.
  • Ask coworkers not to tell where you are if your batterer comes to the workplace or calls.
  • Ask someone to screen your calls.
  • Keep your office door locked if you can.
  • Plan an escape route if your partner comes to work.
  • Work when other people are there, never alone.
  • Vary your route and the times you go to work.
Back to Planning

Safety in the Community
  • Vary or change any routine your partner may be familiar with. Change groceries, banks, day care.
  • Go out during the busiest times.
  • Have people you trust walk you to and from your car.
  • Take someone with you.
  • Carry a whistle.
  • Take a self defense class.
  • Program the police, crisis line or friend on your cell phone. Keep it with you at all times.
Back to Planning

Keep in mind that you can always call your local domestic violence program at 1-800-650-6522 to receive help in any of these areas or with other issues related to domestic violence. Someone is there to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call anytime.

Back to Planning
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If you leave home, these items may be helpful.
Consider storing them with a friend or in a Safety deposit box.
Cash
Keys
Personal identification
Birth certificates
Social security card
School vaccination records
Driver's license & registration
Medication, medical records
Work permit/ Green card/welfare ID
Insurance information
Rent/mortgage papers

Other helpful items:

Address book
Pictures
Jewelry
Items of sentimental value
Children's favorite toy


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