What Is Safety Planning?

If you believe you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, you may want to consider creating a safety plan.

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that can help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation and is an especially important tool if you’re considering leaving an abusive relationship. It lays out a variety of options, including where to store personal documents, how to obtain a protection order and identifying safe locations to go during a crisis situation.

Ultimately, it is your choice to end the relationship, or choose to stay. Either way, it’s important to always have a plan in place. Victims involved in abusive relationships, on average, will attempt to leave the relationship between five and seven times.

How You Can Help
The best way to support someone in an abusive relationship is to allow that person to make up their own mind about leaving, because they know their situation best.

Avoid making remarks that suggest you’re blaming or belittling. It’s important to remember that the abuser talks down to the victim regularly, so he or she likely already has somewhat low self-esteem and could be blaming himself or herself for the abuser’s actions. You can reassure your loved one that they deserve a happy and healthy relationship. Help them realize that abuse is not normal and it’s not their fault.

Want to create your own safety plan from home? Get started with our personalized safety plan template. The Center for Family Safety and Healing provides supportive services for adult victims of intimate partner violence in the Central Ohio area. Our advocates are specially trained to provide ongoing safety planning, counseling and legal assistance. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or learn more about Adult Services, please call 614-722-8293.


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