Safety Planning Checklist
This page contains:
- Safety at home
- Making an escape plan
- Collecting useful numbers
- Safety after separation
- Safety in public or at work
- Safety on the Internet
- Helping kids
- Further Reading
If you are fearful for yourself, a family member or client, call 000 for police assistance. To make emergency calls using TTY or the National Relay Service, see http://relayservice.gov.au/making-a-call/emergency-calls/
Safety at home
A Community of Care
- Responding is everyone’s business. Let neighbours who you trust know to call the police on 000 if they hear fighting, shouting or noises. Some people who live in flats or apartments have coded stomps or tapping to alert their neighbours to get help.
- Have somewhere to go if you need to get out. In your wallet or mobile contact list keep phone numbers of family and friends.
- Have your own mobile phone and plan (preferably prepaid) so that you can stay in touch with people and calls can’t be checked from the phone bill or call logs.
- Get an escape plan ready for when you feel that things might get out of control.
Making an escape plan
- Plan and practise quick emergency exit routes from all the rooms in your house/flat.
- Have a small escape bag somewhere with spare keys, important papers, a special toy for the kids and some spare cash in case you need to leave in a hurry. If you need prescription medicines, keep a spare script in your escape bag.
- Leave spare copies of keys, important papers, photocopies of bank cards and credit cards etc. with a family member, friend or someone you trust.
- If you have any mobility issues or disabilities, arrange in advance for a friend to come straight away if you ring or text them. Some people use a code word, agreed on in advance. That way you can call even if the perpetrator can hear you.
- If it’s safe, keep a diary of abusive or frightening incidents. These can help if you need to get a protection order.
Collecting useful numbers
- Consider gathering some useful addresses and numbers like:
- local taxi services (accessible taxi services, if you need them).
- the crisis phone line in your state or territory.
- the closest crisis contact centre.
- the address of the local police station.
- Remember you can always call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Safety after separation
- If you have separated from your partner, get outdoor lights, extra window or door locks, or gates if you can. Police will often do a ‘security upgrade’ check for you and give you ideas about increasing safety for your particular house or flat. Some domestic and family violence services or police services have funds available to help with costs.
- Change your mobile number and have it set on ‘private’. Use a different SIM card if you need to communicate about children.
- Ask government agencies, utilities companies, law firms, doctors, schools etc. to keep your details private.
- Get a PO Box for important mail or keep your home address private.
- Talk to a domestic and family violence service, a community lawyer or the police about getting a protection order if you don’t already have one. These can alert police to some of the dangers in advance. They can also be written to prohibit the abuser from coming to your workplace.
Safety in public or at work
- Park your car in a busy public place. Avoid underground car parks, or if you have to use them, get someone to walk you to your car.
- If you see your partner or ex, get into a public or busy place as soon as possible.
- If you have separated from your partner, ask your boss if you can have calls and visitors screened through reception. If you work in a public space, such as a shopping centre, talk to the security staff and show them your ex’s photo.
- If you have separated from your partner, try to change your routines regularly. Where possible, catch different trains or trams, leave home or work at different hours, shop in different places or online.
- Tell your boss or security staff of any protection orders that prevent the abuser from coming near your work. Keep a copy of your order at work or in your bag.
Safety on the Internet
- Use a public computer (library, community centre) or a friend’s computer that your abuser can’t access.
- Change or delete your Facebook account and your kids’ accounts, or review your privacy settings to restrict access. People can accidently give away details of where you are living or where you will be.
- Change your email account. Make it hard to trace – don’t use your name and birth year in the account name.
- Have a computer technician check your computer for spyware or keystroke logging programs.
- Help your kids to know when there are warning signs of danger.
- Keep the conversation practical like other safety conversations you might have around natural disaster planning, fire safety, etc.
- Practice emergency escape routes – talk about these at the same time as you talk through a fire or hurricane drill.
- Teach your children that it is not their responsibility to stop the abuser when they are angry or violent.
- Teach your children who they can call or where the can go in an emergency. This includes how to call 000 and ask for the police, and how to give their address.
- Tell schools or childcare centres about the violence, along with school parents you can trust. They can keep a look out for signs of escalation and also help with caring for your child’s emotional needs. A community of care helps keep kids safe. Give the school or childcare centre a copy of your protection order, and a photo of the perpetrator so they know who to look out for.
In case of immediate danger call 000 for police assistance.
To make emergency calls using TTY or the National Relay Service, see http://relayservice.gov.au/making-a-call/emergency-calls/