Domestic Violence Safety Plans

In an abusive relationship?

You may want to:

  • Teach your children how to call 911.
  • Create a code word so they know when you need help.
  • Keep important phone numbers for law enforcement, shelter, friends, and family
  • Know the locations of nearby safe places.
  • Tell friends or neighbors about the abuse and ask them to call the police if they hear violent noises.
  • Make an escape plan for your home and at work.
  • Invest in a cell phone.
  • Open a credit card or bank account in your name only
  • Considering Leaving?

  • Identify 2 different places you could go.
  • Think about people who could help you. Could they loan you money or keep your belongings?
  • Keep a bag of items you will need if you leave. Leave the bag at work or with a friend.
  • Consider what you should do with your children and pets. Would they be safer with you or not?
  • Think of excuses to leave the house, such as walking the dog, going to the grocery store, or taking out the trash.
  • Make extra copies of the house and car keys.
  • Review your safety plan often and practice it step by step.
  • Already Left?

  • Continue to monitor your safety.
  • Consider filing for an Order of Protection or Restraining Order. If you get one, give copies to your boss and children’s teachers. ALWAYS keep it with you.
  • Change the locks.
  • Give your friends and neighbors a picture of your abuser.
  • Ask your friends and neighbors to call the police if they see your abuser near you or your home.
  • Tell your children’s caretakers who is allowed to pick up the children.
  • Ask a coworker to screen your calls.
  • Use different stores and driving routes than you previously used.
  • Find a support group or counselor.
  • Find a safe way to communicate with your abuser, if you must.
  • Things to Take With You
    Your safety and your children’s safety is MOST IMPORTANT!

    If you can, take:

  • Money and credit cards
  • Birth certificates and driver’s license
  • Social Security and benefit cards
  • Keys to car, house, and work
  • Extra clothes
  • Medicine
  • School and medical records
  • Bank statements and unpaid bills
  • Insurance papers and car registration
  • Address book
  • Special toys for your children
  • Family Cases Handled:

    • Physical Abuse Divorce
    • Custody and Visitation
    • Adoption
    • Orders of Protection
    • Other Family Court Matters
    Other Legal Representation

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    • Housing
    • Migrant Farm Workers
    • Probate
    • Public Benefits

    Additional information may be found at:
    South Carolina’s guide to free legal resources

    This brochure was prepared by South Carolina Legal Services and is provided as a public service.
    Copyright retained by South Carolina Legal Services
    Printed April 2010


    South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians.


    All low-income South Carolinians will have full and fair access to justice.

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