Elaine Ducharme Ph.D, ABPP Board Certified in Clinical Psychology
HomeNotice of Privacy PracticesDirectionsAbout Dr. DucharmeCollaborative Divorce CoachingDr. Ducharme's BlogsDomestic Violence Resources/Office of the Victim AdvocateRed Flags of Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence StatisticsInformation on date rapeDr. Ducharme in the newsContact Us
Domestic Violence Resources/Office of the Victim Advocate

Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence


1.       Understand that you do not have the power to control your partner’s violence. But you do have a choice over how you respond to him/her and how best to get you and your children to safety.

2.       During an argument try to move to a space that has the lowest risk…ex. A room with a door to escape to outside. Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen or rooms with weapons.

3.       Be aware of escape routes in your home. What doors, windows, elevators or fire escapes are available?

4.       Keep car keys accessible and have a friend that lives near-by keep a set.

5.       Tell a neighbor about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear or see anything suspicious.

6.       Teach your children and friends a special code word so they can call for help.

7.       Be sure your children know how to use the telephone to contact the police or fire department.

8.       Plan where you could go if you have to leave your home. Find out where there is a Domestic Violence Shelter or identify a friend or family member that could provide temporary shelter.

9.       Use your judgment. You may need to give the abuser what they are demanding if the situation is very dangerous and you can’t leave immediately. Wait until things have calmed down to get you and your children out of the home.

10.   Keep some money, passports or other identification for you and your children in a safe place. Keep copies of these documents with a friend or other family member.

11.   If you are planning on leaving, consider opening your own savings account ot increase your independence.

12.   Know the number of the Domestic Violence Hotline. Program it into your cell phone.

13.   If your violent partner has moved out, consider changing your locks, installing a security system, installing outside safety lights that light up if someone is close to your home.

14.   Have rope ladders available to escape from 2nd floor windows.

15.   Teach your children who they can contact if your partner becomes violent and you are not available.

16.   Get a protective order from the Court.

17.   Inform your boss or co-workers of the situation.

18.   Screen calls to avoid verbal abuse and avoid letting your partner know where you are.

19.   Avoid consuming alcohol when you are around your batterer. You will not be able to think as clearly when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Decide when and where it is safe for you to consume alcohol.

20.   Consider seeking help from a psychologist or other mental health professional to maintain your safety, physical and emotional health.

21.   It may not be necessary for you to leave right away or in the future. But it is your responsibility to provide for the safety of your children.

22.   Attend a group for victims of Domestic Violence


Here is a list of items to take when you leave: Or have copies available in a safe place. Remember, however, sometimes it is necessary to just leave with nothing but you and the children or very basic essentials. I have highlighted the basic essentials in red.


Identification for you and your children                                                 Bank book          

Lease, rental agreement or mortgage payment                                     Divorce papers

Driver’s License                                                                                       School records

Birth certificates for you and your children                                            Address book

Passports                                                                                                 Work permits

Money                                                                                                      Green card

Check book                                                                                               Insurance papers

Items of sentimental value                                                                      Children’s favorite toys and blankets     

Credit card (s)                                                                                           Keys to house, car and officeMedications                                                     

Medical records

Social Security cards                                                       


Important phone numbers

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-safe(7233)

Police Dept _____________

Battered women’s program _________________

Shelter ____________________


This plan was adapted from “personalized safety plan, office of the City attorney, San Diego, Ca. April 1990