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Safety Planning

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or is in an abusive relationship, there are things to consider when thinking about safety. It may be helpful to create a safety plan or to think about some ways to stay and feel safer. Depending on where you live, there may be unique circumstances to think about.

Things to think about:

How to get away if there is an emergency

·         Be conscious of exits or other escape routes

·         Think about options for transportation (car, bus, train, etc.)

Who can help

·         Friends, family

·         Converse County Coalition Against Violence

·         National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673), the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or, if you are in a dating or domestic violence situation, the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE(7233)

Where to go

·         Friend’s house

·         Relative’s house

·         A domestic violence or homeless shelter (Converse County Coalition Against Violence)

·         The police (even if the police know both you and the perpetrator—they are still responsible for doing their job).

·         Important: If the dangerous situation involves a partner, go to the police or a shelter first.

What to bring:

·         Important papers and documents: birth certificate, social security card, license, passport, medical records, lease, bills, etc.

·         House keys, car keys, cash, credit cards, medicine, important numbers, cell phone

·         If you are bringing children with you, remember to bring their important papers and legal documents

·         Keep all of these things in an emergency bag

·         Hide the bag—best if not in house or car

·         If the bag is discovered, can call it a “hurricane”, “tornado” or “fire” bag

How to anticipate and respond to a perpetrator’s actions

·         Be conscious of places the perpetrator frequents (work schedule, favorite places to go, etc.)

·         Plan what you would say and do if you came into contact with him or her

Traveling Safety:

If you need to get away and there is no public transportation in your area, try to find someone who will allow you to use his or her car if you do not have one at your disposal.

Driving

·         Keep your doors locked

·         Have extra car necessities (oil, jumper cables, etc.)

·         Try not to wait until the last minute to fill your gas tank; always keep it half-way full if you can

·         Have your keys ready when you go to unlock your car

·         Plan your route and know what “safe” places are on it (police stations, hospitals, etc.)

Home Safety:

·         Change the locks on doors and windows

·         Keep your doors locked, even when you are at home

·         Install a security system

·         Install outside lighting system (with motion detectors)

·         Do not prop doors open

·         Close blinds/curtains at night

·         Keep car doors locked, even in your own driveway

Tips to Remember

·         Keep cash with you at all times

·         Keep some change accessible just in case you need to use a pay phone

·         Memorize all important numbers/have important numbers easily accessible on your cell phone (if you have one)

·         Establish a code word so that family, friends, etc. know when to call for help

·         Have a backup plan in case the first fails

·         Carry a small noisemaker (like a whistle) and/or flashlight on your keychain

·         Be aware of your routine and try to alter it sometimes, if possible

·         Have an extra copy of keys

·         Try to keep in contact with people/organizations who are helping you

 

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