Safety Planning

You and your children have a right to feel safe in relationships and in your home. If you are experiencing abuse, know that this is not your fault. Your safety matters. You are not alone. Know that there is support to help you.

A safety plan is about looking at your situation and thinking about what could be put into place to help you and your children. It might be a plan about what you could do in a situation if you felt scared or it might be about what other people around you can do to help.

A safety plan shouldn’t be complicated or make you feel overwhelmed by things you need to do. You are the best judge of what is going to work in your unique situation and you will already be doing things to protect yourself and your kids – even if it doesn’t feel like it. A safety plan can help you to see these actions and may help you to feel some sense of control in your life.  

If you feel unsure what the first step might be to making a safety plan – many people who we support have told us that they did two things to start. They got information about their options and they told someone they trusted in their life about what was happening. If you are reading this – then you are already doing the first one! 

You might choose to talk with family, a friend, neighbour or community member, but if this doesn’t feel right or safe, you could talk with a:

  • 24-hour helpline such as 1800RESPECT
  • health professional such as your doctor 
  • community worker such as a counsellor or family support worker
  • specialist domestic violence service. 

Below are a few questions you could ask yourself to help you in making a safety plan.

What am I already doing to try to protect myself and my children?

Try to think about what has worked in the past and use this as a start to develop your plan. 

"I would try to go out into the backyard if my partner started up at me – we had neighbours on all sides and I guess I hoped if things got really bad, they would hear and would call the police. "

"I used to think that going quiet and appeasing my partner was weak on my part. Now I know that I was being strong and trying to protect myself the best way I could. "