No one can control a partner’s abusive behavior, but you can take steps to stay as safe as possible. Whether you decide to leave the abusive relationship or not, creating a safety plan helps you reduce the risk of being hurt.
Effective Safety Plans
- Personalized: There is no one-size-fits-all safety plan. Because every situation is different, every safety plan needs to reflect the specific details of your life. Use Break the Cycle’s Teen’s Guide to Safety Planning and College Student’s Guide to Safety Planning to create a tailored plan.
- Made Ahead of Time: When someone is feeling frightened or in danger, it can be really hard to think clearly. Having a safety plan before there is immediate danger can help you make the best decision in a crisis.
- Supported by Your Community: Creating a safety plan can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are trying to make one when you feel physically or emotionally threatened. Working through a plan with a trusted friend can make a huge difference. As part of your plan, identify which family members, friends and community resources you feel comfortable contacting in times of danger.
- Realistic: A safety plan won’t work if it is difficult to follow. Every piece of the plan should address the reality of your situation.
- Holistic: You aren’t one-dimensional, and your safety plan shouldn’t be either. An effective plan helps you figure out how to be safer in every aspect of your life – at home, at school, at work, in transit, online and in social situations. Safety plans should also address your emotional safety and ability to heal.
Help Staying Safe
Safety plans are especially crucial when leaving an abusive relationship. Breaking up is often the most dangerous time, requiring the most caution.
If you or a young person you know needs to create a safety plan, Break the Cycle is here to help.
If you or someone you know is ever in immediate crisis, call 911 or the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1.866.331.9474 toll free.