Safety Planning with Children
MESSAGES FOR CHILDREN
- You don’t need to keep secrets when you feel scared or sad.
- You are not to blame for the violence in your home.
- Identify escape routes from the house and where to meet outside.
- Identify an adult you trust and tell them when something is happening in your house.
- Anger and frustration are okay but violence is not.
- There are safe places for your mom to take you.
- It’s okay to feel mixed up about things.
- It is okay to like your dad and at the same time not like him when he is violent and hurting family members.
- Focus on keeping yourself safe when your dad hurts your mom.
- Don’t get in the middle of a fight.
- There are ways to call for help:
- Call the police (911).
- Go to your safe place you have planned about before.
- Go to a neighbor’s home.
- Keep your younger brothers and sister in a safe place.
From: Ganley, A., Schuster, S. Domestic Violence: A National Curriculum for protective
services. Family violence prevention fund, 1996
Stay out of the fight.
- You may want to get in the middle of the fight to protect and help your parent, but this is not a safe thing for you to do. Your mom will want you to be safe.
- Stay out of the room where the fighting is happening.
Avoid getting trapped in a closet or the kitchen.
- You may feel like hiding, but if you go into a corner or closet, it may be hard to get out again safely. Try to find a safe place to hide in advance.
- Try not to hide in the kitchen where there are objects that can be used as weapons.
Find a phone in a safe place. Call 911 for help and stay on the phone.
- Use a phone out of reach or out of sight of the abuser.
- If you can’t reach a phone safely in your own house, go to a neighbor, relative, or friend you trust and ask if you can use the phone.
- Call 911 or your local police emergency number and stay on the phone until someone answers.
- Tell the dispatcher what is happening in your home and ask for immediate help.
- Give the dispatcher your address.
Escape to a safe place. Find a relative or neighbor and ask for their help.
- Think about which grownups you would feel safe talking to.
- Don’t give up if the first person you go to won’t help. Try another adult. Keep trying until you find someone to help you.