Safety Planning

Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser, there are things you can do to make yourself and your family safer. We have outlined some of them in our Safety Planning Pamphlet, you may download a copy of this pamphlet for yourself or someone you believe is in danger here.  If you need our help to make a plan, find out your options, or just need to talk to someone who understands,  please call us, we are here to help you.


If you are at home and you are being threatened or attacked:

  • Stay away from the kitchen (the abuser can find weapons, such as knives, there)
  • Stay away from bathrooms, closets or small spaces where the abuser can trap you
  • Get to a room with a phone to call for help; lock the abuser outside if you can
  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) right away for help
  • If you can, leave and run to a neighbor or friend  for help
  • When a police officer comes, tell him what happened; get his name and badge number
  • Get medical help if you are hurt
  • Take pictures of bruises or injuries
  • Call a domestic violence program or shelter; ask them to help you make a safety plan

How to Protect Yourself at Home

  • Learn where to get help; memorize emergency phone numbers
  • Keep a phone in a room you can lock from the inside; if you can, get a cellular phone that you keep with you at all times
  • If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your door; get locks on the windows
  • Plan an escape route out of your home; teach it to your children
  • Think about where you would go if you need to escape
  • Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see the abuser at your house; make a signal for them to call the police, for example, a shade is pulled down or a light is on
  • Pack a bag with important things you would need if you had to leave quickly; put in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust
  • Include cash, car keys and important documents
  • Get a new and unlisted phone number/ screen calls
  • Take a self-defense course

How to Protect Yourself Outside the Home

  • Try to get rides with different people
  • Shop and bank at different places
  • Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank
  • Keep your court order and emergency numbers with you at all times
  • Keep a cell phone and program it to 911 (or other emergence numbers)

How to Make Your Children Safer

  • Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help
  • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address and phone number to the police
  • Teach them who to call for help
  • Tell them to stay out of the kitchen
  • Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order; tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the phone; give them a photo of the abuser
  • Make sure the children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser
  • Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to ANYONE
  • Change your regular travel habits

How To Make Yourself Safer At Work

  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work
  • Tell your supervisors – see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don’t go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard or friend to walk you to your car or to the bus
  • If the abuser calls you at work, save voice mails and save e-mails

Use the Law to help You

Protection and Custody Orders

    • Ask your local domestic violence shelter’s legal advocate to assist you with filing any court orders
    • Get a certified copy of the court order
    • Keep the court order with you AT ALL TIMES
In most places, the judge can:
      • Order the abuser to stay away from you or your children
      • Order the abuser to leave your home
      • Give you temporary custody of your children and order the abuser to pay you temporary child support
      • Order the police to come to your home while the abuser picks up personal belongings
      • Give you possession of the car, furniture and other belongings
      • Order the abuser to go to a batterers’ intervention program
      • Order the abuser not to call you at work
      • Order the abuser to give guns to the police
If you are worried about any of the following, make sure you:
      • Ask the judge to order the abuser to pick up and return the children at the police station or some other safe place
      • Ask that any visits the abuser is permitted are at very specific times so the police will know by reading the court order if the abuser is there at the wrong time
      • Tell the judge if the abuser has harmed or threatened the children; ask that visits be supervised; think about who could do that for you
During your visit with the prosecutor:
    • Show the prosecutor your court orders
    • Show the prosecutor any medical records about your injuries or pictures
    • Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer)
    • Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries or abuse
    • Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if the abuser is getting out of jail

Be Safe at the Courthouse

  • Sit as far away from the abuser as you can; you don’t have to look at or talk to the abuser; you don’t have to talk to the abuser’s family or friends if they are there
  • Bring a friend or relative to wait with you until your case is heard
  • Tell a bailiff or sheriff that you are afraid of the abuser and ask to be escorted from the building
  • Make sure you have your court order before you leave
  • If you think the abuser is following you when you leave, call the police immediately
  • If you have to travel to another state for work or to get away from the abuser, take your protection order with you; it is valid everywhere

P.O. Box 698
Sault Ste. Marie MI, 49783


CHIPPEWA 906-259-0398
LUCE 906-293-4853
MACKINAC 906-643-0498