Safety Planning

Risk management in terms of safety for you and your children in homes with a dangerous offender is a critical issue. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number.

It’s essential to make a plan to keep you and your children safe. Ask someone you trust to help you or contact local services. Even if you’re not planning to leave the relationship, a safety plan can help if the abuse worsens.

Decide how you can leave quickly or stay safe. Tell someone you trust about the abuse. Think about your partner’s past use and level of force. This will help you predict danger and decide when to leave. Create a plan to leave your home safely and practice it with your children. Choose the closest place to call for help, such as a coffee shop or neighbour’s house. Teach children how to call the police and stay on the phone until the police arrive

Safety planning is essentially a plan you set out in advance to avoid any violence for you, or a loved one in the future. It’s a means that will help you (and other loved ones, including children) escape a violent situation, if there is a need to leave swiftly. This may include having items and documents stored in a bag, hidden in a specific area of the house, so you and your loved one can grab it, and go. It can help an individual set out strategies and prepare to end a relationship that is abusive, when they are ready. A safety plan is personalized, meaning not each and every one of them looks the same.

One part of safety planning is to have a backpack, ready to grab in case you need to make a quick exit.

Some things to remember in to place in this pack, include:

* Some clothes for you and your loved ones that are leaving, and hygiene essentials.

* Important documents, like:

o Birth certificates

o Passports

o Immigration papers

o Social insurance numbers

o Health cards

* Create an extra set of house or car keys, that can be used for a quick exit, and place then in a secure area of the backpack; where you can easily grab them and go.

* Medications and prescriptions.

* If you have children, try to pack a special item or toy that may comfort them in the coming days.