Safety Planning

Safety Planning*

If you are in an abusive relationship, safety planning is an important step. Below are several things you can do.

  • Seek outside help. Safer Futures, the Women's Center, Townhall II, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) can help.
  • Share what's happening with a trusted friend. Abusers will often isolate their victims; reach out to friends and family you may have not connected with in a while.
  • Also tell your RA/roommates about the situation. Try to let friends, roommates and RAs know where you are going and when you should be back. Check-in with them while you're out.
  • If the abuser also lives in your residence hall, investigate student housing options by contacting Residence Services.
  • Be aware of weapons your partner may have.
  • Avoid being alone with your partner. Arrange for double dates, if possible.
  • If you live together, try to save small amounts of money. Keep it in a safe place like a safety deposit box or with a friend. You might also want to consider taking out extra student loans to help pay for a new apartment.
  • If you share a bank account with the abuser, open your own savings account. (If you live together, do not have the statements sent to your home--get a P.O. Box or pick them up at the bank.)
  • Identify family members or friends who could lend temporary financial support.
  • If possible, get a part time or full time job. Check out student employment opportunities.
  • If your abuser has copies of any of your keys, request that s/he return them to you, or change your locks.
  • If you live with her/him and plan on leaving, pack and hide the items listed below. If possible, store them at a trusted friend's or neighbor's home (avoid using the homes of next-door neighbors, close family members or mutual friends).
    • Car keys
    • Driver's License
    • Change of clothes
    • Emergency phone numbers
    • Cell phone and charger (or pre-paid calling card)
    • Medications
    • Credit cards
    • If time permits, pack important documents such as birth certificates, resident cards/student IDs, social security cards, student loan info and schedules, pay stubs, checkbook and information about bank accounts
  • Arrange for a safe place to leave your school books, such as a trusted friends' place, the locked trunk of your car, etc.
  • If you are trying to stay in school, University Psychological Services and the Student Ombuds can help you. You may also inquire about withdrawing from classes so you can take a break away from campus.

For more information about safety planning, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call them at 1-800-799-SAFE.

*Adapted from TheRedFlagCampaign and the National Domestic Violence Hotline

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