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Domestic Violence situations carry a high potential for a deadly outcome. If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation it is extremely important to have a Safety Plan. This page will give you some helpful tips. It will also point out situations and scenarios you should be wary of.



  • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.

  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.



These safety tips will be useful for anyone who is threatened by abuse whether they are or are not currently living with the abuser.


  • Hiding extra money, car keys, and coil wires (for car)

  • Hiding important documents (marriage license, birth certificates, social security cards, school records, etc.) in a safe place so you can get them in a hurry.  Think about storing them at another location.

  • Keep a bag/suitcase packed for emergency exits, and think about storing it at another location.  

  • Plan a safe place to go in case of an emergency such as shelter, a trusted friend, or a relative's home.

  • Have the phone number of the police department handy and get the name and badge number of the responding police officer should the need to call arise.

  • Teach and encourage the children to go to a neighbor's house to call the police during an attack.

  • If possible have a special room in the house with an extra strong lock and phone. This room should not be the kitchen or anywhere weapons are easily accessible.

  • Understand the cycle of violence/power and control so that you are able to recognize when a violent episode may occur. You can then take the children and leave the home at once.

  • If attacked, go to the hospital for prompt medical attention: have the abuse documented on the hospital record. Call HAVEN of Tioga County for an advocate who can come to the hospital and help you.

  • Keep a record of injuries, including photographs, so that legal evidence can be produced if and/or when you decide to press charges and/or secure a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA).

  • Have a special signal to use with neighbors, friends, or relatives to alert a call to the police for help. 

  • If, after having had the abuser evicted, you return home to the residence you should consider changing all the locks.

  • Have an escape plan in mind and walk through it several times so that you are prepared.



  • Determine who will let you stay with them or lend you money.

  • Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.

  • Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents, and clothes with someone you trust.

  • Open a savings account in your own name to establish or increase your independence.

  • Keep the emergency housing numbers close by. Keep change or a calling card with you at all times, if you do not have a cell phone.

  • Review your safety plan with a domestic violence advocate to plan the safest way to leave your abuser.

Remember --- leaving your abusive partner is the most dangerous time. Review your safety plan as often as necessary so you know the safest way to leave.

Take a Danger Assessment to determine your risk.


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