Have a Domestic Violence Safety Plan
When someone with whom you have an intimate relationship uses physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control your behavior, they are committing domestic violence.
- Each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate partner.
- It is estimated that within a 12-month period, 4 million adult women in America experience a serious assault by an intimate partner.
- Almost 1 out 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during their adult life.
- Violence against women occurs in 20 percent of dating couples.
- It is estimated that 3.3 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
For additional assistance concerning your safety, call a local shelter to discuss and develop a safety plan. In the mean time, these tips may help you:
During a Violent Outburst
If you are in an argument:
- leave/stay away from the kitchen or other rooms with weapons.
- stay out of rooms without exits, like the bathroom or closet.
- if possible get to a room with an exit and/or a phone.
- develop a code word or signal for friends, children, and neighbors to call police.
- call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- teach your child to call 9-1-1.
- use your instincts.
For added safety, you can program 9-1-1 (or the local emergency number) into the AutoDial on your phone.
Have a Protective Order?
If you have a protective order:
- always keep at least one copy with you at all times.
- if your abuser violates the order call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number (you have the right to ask that a police report be filed).
- give a copy of the order and a picture of the defendant to security at your job or school.
- if the children are included on the order, give a copy of the order to their school, daycare or babysitter.
- Click here for more information about protective orders.
- Click here for more information about injunctions against harassment.
If You Plan to Leave
If you think you may want to leave, a careful plan is needed to ensure safety. Do not let your abuser know of your plans; act as if things are unchanged.
It is important to organize cards, money, keys, and any needed documents so they are available should you leave in a hurry. The following are suggested items to keep together in case you leave:
- Driver's license/picture ID
- Birth certificates
- Social security cards/numbers
- Health benefit cards
- Welfare identification
- Address/phone book
- Money, credit cards, checkbook
- Immunization records
- Children's favorite toys and blankets
- Pack a bag with money, keys, and clothing and leave it at someone's house
- Know the fastest exit from your home
- Know the closest phone to call for help
If You Leave
Leaving an abusive relationship is a very difficult step, and one of courage and strength. This step can also be dangerous if you do not plan in advance to maintain safety.
The following are suggested actions you can take to maintain safety once you have left an abusive relationship:
- You can obtain a protective order.
- Inform friends, neighbors, daycare/babysitter, and coworkers that you are no longer with your abuser, so they can screen your calls or call the police if your abuser shows up.
- Provide your daycare/babysitter with a list of people who have permission to pick up your child.
- Change the locks on your doors and install a security system.
- Avoid social places or stores that you frequented while with your abuser.
Most importantly, if you are feeling down, upset, confused, or are considering returning to the abusive relationship, call a local shelter or hotline number. They can help you talk about your feelings and safe options should you return.
- Shelter Hotline
- Information and Referral
602-263-8856 OR 1-800-352-3792 (in the 520 area)
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline (24 Hour)
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) OR 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
- Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence - Legal Advocacy Hot line
1-800-782-6400 OR 602-279-2900
Domestic Violence Shelters
Do You Feel Safe at Home? You Can.
- For local shelter: (602) 263-8900 or 1-800-799-7739
- National hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)