Safety Planning

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that can help you avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react when you’re in danger.

If you’re experiencing abuse or are in an unhealthy relationship, you should create a safety plan. Whether you decide to end the relationship or stay, it’s a good idea to empower yourself with the knowledge of how to act in different scenarios. Create a safety plan using our interactive tool below.

Prefer pen and paper? Then download our College or High School Safety Planning Guide.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2007-TA-AX-K024 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Safety Planning for Family and Friends

As friends and family members, you can help someone in an abusive relationship make a safety plan using the tools above. Try to remember:

  • Listen and be supportive. Even when you don’t understand or agree with their decision -- don't judge. It can make them feel worse.
  • Connect them to resources and information in their area. Chat with a peer advocate to find information to share.
  • Don’t post information about your loved one on social networking sites. Never use sites like Facebook or Foursquare to reveal their current location or where they hang out. It's possible their partner will use your post to find them. Brush up on your knowledge of digital safety.
  • Allow the person you're trying to help to make up their own mind. Leaving an unhealthy or abusive relationship may be difficult and even dangerous. Avoid blaming or belittling comments. Abusive partners usually put down their victims regularly, so your loved one's self-esteem may already be low.
  • Don't give up even though helping is frustrating. Learn more about how to help others.