You can make a simple safety plan for yourself, with help from a friend or someone in your family. You can also contact a support service for help making a detailed safety plan. Every plan is different as every person has different needs. It’s a good idea to create a new safety plan as things change, for example if you move house or leave your relationship.
If you are making a safety plan for yourself, you will already have good ideas about things you can do when you feel unsafe. These might be as simple as contacting a friend when there is violence where you live. You can start your safety plan by writing these ideas down. Keep your plan somewhere that no one else will see it. You might choose to share your safety plan with a friend or other support person. Let them know you may be calling them if you feel unsafe at home.
Support services can help you think about actions you can take when you feel unsafe. Contacting a support service to make a safety plan is the best place to start if you are living with sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
For someone living with violence or abuse, having the support of a friend or family member can be one of the best ways to increase safety. If you are a support person, start by listening. The other person knows their own situation best and will be able to tell you about things they are already doing to keep safe. Remember not to judge or make decisions for them. 'Just leaving' is not always a safe option. In fact immediately after a separation is the time of greatest risk of violence. Work with the person you are supporting to make a plan that meets their needs.
Support services, like 1800RESPECT, are also available to help family and friends as well as workers supporting someone affected by violence.
To learn more about making a safety plan, watch the video 'How to make a plan to look after yourself'.
To learn more about keeping kids safe, watch the video 'Domestic and family violence: children’s safety'.
It’s a good idea to keep a record of abusive or frightening things that happen. This can help with protection orders or child custody cases. Make sure to keep this record in a safe place where it won’t be found or destroyed by the abusive person.
Evidence of violence or abuse might include:
For more information about evidence collection, you can download useful resources from the SmartSafe and TechSafety websites. These resources have been made to help women who are experiencing violence or abuse to keep a record of things that have happened.