Domestic Violence Victim Response & Safety Planning

Domestic Violence Victim Response & Safety Planning

Discussing a safety plan with potential victims or those who have endured a violent incident should help victims assess his/her circumstance and evaluate whether his/her abuser is likely to injure or kill them, other family members, or police personnel.

Sandhills Community College students who are victims of domestic violence should:

  • immediately make campus officials aware of his/her situation
  • become familiar with the use and location of emergency call boxes on campus.
  • know where phones are accessible inside buildings.
  • walk with someone while on campus.
  • not isolate his/herself while on campus.
  • request a change in his/her class schedule from the appropriate dean.
  • switch vehicles frequently (if possible).
  • alternate his/her route to the campus.

General safety planning with the victim should include :

  • encouraging him/her to have the names and phone numbers of police, community resources, friends, family members, and shelter officials who can assist him/her.
  • alerting him/her that while the perpetrator may presently may be removed from the situation due to an arrest, it is likely he/she [batterer] will try to threaten or “sweet talk” their way back into his/her life.
  • discussing his /her potential options for temporary living arrangements, (i.e. shelter, staying with family/friend, asking someone to stay with them).
  • developing a plan of action in the instance that the batterer returns to the house after being released from custody.
  • advising him/her how to find out when their partner will be released.
  • explaining how he/she can obtain a domestic violence protective order.

If the victim intends to leave their residence he/she should:

  • develop a list of items he/she will need to take (i.e. money, personal papers, car keys, change of clothing).
  • determine an individual with whom he/she can leave money, an extra set of keys, and extra clothes.
  • determine the best scenario for leaving or removing any children from the residence or arrange for someone to care for them in the interim.
  • keep the phone number to a shelter along with change or a calling card close at hand at all times.
  • review the safety plan in order to plan the safest way to leave.
  • understand that leaving the batterer can be the most dangerous time.

If the victim plans to continue in the relationship he/she should:

  • try to have any unavoidable arguments in a room that has access to an exit, avoiding the bathroom(s), kitchen, or anywhere room which has weapons.
  • practice how to get out of the home safely.
  • have an undisclosed, readily accessible packed bag.
  • identify a neighbor that he/she can tell about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance.
  • have a plan where he/she will go if they have to leave his/her home.