If you or a friend is in an abusive relationship, it is important to think about how to stay safe. A safety plan is a guide that helps you prepare for potentially dangerous situations and includes a plan for how to help keep you safe. Below are some safety tips for those currently experiencing abuse and/or planning to leave an abusive relationship.
Safety Planning Tips
- Talk to a trusted adult (parent, older sibling, coach, teacher, counselor, etc.).
- Call a teen dating abuse hotline for help with safety planning (link to numbers).
- Call 911 if you feel unsafe.
- Always bring your cell phone with you so you can call for help if needed.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going with your partner.
- Participate in activities that you enjoy and are relaxing (taking a walk, calling a friend, drawing, journaling, reading a book, taking deep breaths, meditating, etc.).
- Avoid going places that feel unsafe or uncomfortable going alone with your partner.
- Talk to a teacher or guidance counselor at school for help identifying ways to stay safe at school.
- Develop a code word with friends to let them know when you do not feel safe.
- Set your social media sites to private and only allow people you trust access to your information, pictures, location, etc.
- Keep your phone and social media passwords private.
- Keep a list of any abusive or threatening behaviors.
Safety When Breaking Up
- Talk to your partner in a public space with other people around and have your cell phone with you if you need to call for help.
- Breakup over text or phone if you don’t feel safe talking in person.
- Tell a friend, family member and/or trusted adult before you breakup.
- Explain to the abuser that you are breaking up with them. They may be upset about this decision, so it is important to remember why you are breaking up with the abuser and to end the conversation as soon as possible.
- Do not let the abuser inside of your house after breaking up with him/her.
- Set your social media sites to private and block the abuser. Change any password that he/she may know.