Tips in Developing a Safety Plan

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, or know someone who is a victim, it is important to develop an emergency safety plan for yourself and your children. Planning in advance can prevent serious injury or death.

The following are some suggested tips in developing a safety plan.

Safety During a Violent Incident

Victims cannot always avoid violent incidents of abuse. To increase safety a Victim can use various strategies.

  • if deciding to leave, have a plan of departure, such as which window, door, stairwell, etc
  • keep purse and keys ready for the departure
  • aprise someone about calling the police if suspicious noises are heard
  • teach children to call the police, neighbor, relative
  • select a code word that the children, friend, neighbors know to call the police
  • start your own savings or checking account

Safety at Home

Prepare a safety plan and discuss the plan with your family, friends, children, or neighbors. Discuss when to call the police. There are many ways to increase safety at home. This is a dangerous time, know your escape plan.

  • change the locks on the doors and windows
  • replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors
  • install security systems or additional locks
  • install additional outside lighting
  • teach children how to use the phone to call a friend, relative, neighbor, or police.
  • stay in parts of the home, office etc. that is close to an exit
  • have a bag ready in a hidden place for a quick departure

Safety on the Job or in Public

Each victim of domestic violence may decide to inform others when the abuser has battered and there is a risk of future abuse. Friends, family and co-workers can help protect Victims.

  • if you have a Protective Order, carry it with you always
  • inform your boss, security supervisor, and friends at work. Provide a photograph of the abuser.
  • ask to help screen telephone calls at work
  • avoid leaving work alone
  • inform others the time leaving work
  • vary the routes taken to the grocery store or to and from work. Know what to do if attacked in your car, store, bus, parking lot, etc.
  • plan what to do in various situations if the abuser confronts you

Teens in Violent Dating Relationship

Effective September 1, 2001, the law has changed the definition of "Family Violence" to include "Dating Violence". Victims of dating violence will be eligible for the same protective orders, including magistrate's orders of emergency protection, as family violence victims. Family violence also occurs among teens in dating relationships. Teen victims also need to prepare in advance.

  • decide which parent, friend, teacher, relative or police officer you can tell about the abuse
  • call the County Attorney's office at 361-888-0391 for more information about protective orders
  • report abuse to the police
  • plan a safety route in advance

Checklist of Items to Take When Leaving

  • identification for self, such as driver's license, social security cards, passport, green card, public assistance ID, work permit, etc
  • money, credit cards, checkbook, ATM card
  • important documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, school and vaccination records, medical records, welfare identification records, marriage/Divorce papers/Temporary Orders, Protective Order
  • clothing
  • lease/rental agreements, or house deed
  • insurance papers
  • medical records: health, life and medical records
  • house, office, car keys
  • medication/toiletries/diapers
  • address book, pictures, jewelry, small saleable objects
  • financial documents: income tax records, savings accounts, bank books, IRAs
  • children's favorite toys and/or blankets

"Your Safety is important to me. Consider my suggestions in preparing a plan".
Laura Garza Jimenez
Nueces County Attorney