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Safety Planning

Safety tips
(Adapted from the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center)

  • Choose a trusted person to tell about your situation and plan. Habits
  • Vary your routine whenever possible.
  • Put aside clothes for yourself and your children.
  • Hide money whenever you can.
  • Open a post office box in your name. To avoid creating a trail, choose a post office in a town other than your present one, or the one you plan to go to.
  • Get a protective order. If the order is violated, call the police. You can obtain a protective order from your area district or probate court. If at all possible, have an advocate, friend, or family member accompany you to court. Keep a copy of the order with you at all times. Give copies of the order to your school/workplace, children's schools, neighbors, and other important people. Encourage them to report a violation.
  • Prepare your children for emergencies. Make sure they know how to dial 911 and are not afraid to do so.
  • Find a safe place to go, if needed.  Choose a place where your partner won't be able to find you. This could be a friend or family member’s home, or a confidential shelter.
  • Keep your doors locked day and night. Do not open your door to strangers. Screen all calls with an answering machine/caller ID and change your phone number if possible.
  • Change all locks, whether or not you are still living at home.
  • Take threats seriously and report them. Threats are not only violations of a protective order, but also possible indicators of imminent danger. With this in mind, keep a log of dates and incidents. You may need this information later to prove your case in court.


Check List of Important Items to take with you.  Make sure to put these in a safe and easily attainable location.

  • Identification
  • Birth certificates for me and my children
  • Social Security cards
  • School and medical records
  • Money, bankbooks, credit cards
  • Keys - house/car/office
  • Driver's license and registration
  • Medications
  • Change of clothes
  • Welfare identification
  • Passport(s), Green Card(s), work permits
  • Divorce papers
  • Copy of restraining order
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed
  • Mortgage payment book, current unpaid bills
  • Insurance papers
  • Address book
  • Pictures, jewelry, items of sentimental value
  • Children's favorite toys and/or blankets

Devising a safety plan

Your Personal Safety Plan
Click here for a printable page of important questions to answer and information to collect when putting together your safety plan.  Keep this plan in a safe place that is easy to access should you need it. (Provided by the Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County, Inc.

Computer Safety

American Bar Association
Commission on Domestic Violence


Email: If an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your
incoming and outgoing mail. If you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password he or she will not be able to guess.

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Additionally, the messages may constitute a federal offense. For more information on this issue, contact your local United States Attorney's Office.

History / Cache file: If an abuser knows how to read your computer's history or cache file
(automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the internet.

You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings.*

  • Netscape:
    Pulldown Edit menu, select Preferences.

Click on Navigator on choose 'Clear History'.
Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".
(On older versions of Netcape: Pulldown Options menu. Select Network Options, Select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".)


  • Internet Explorer:
    Pulldown View menu, select Internet Options.

On General page, under Temporary Internet Files , click on "Delete Files".
Under History click on "Clear History."

  • AOL:
    Pulldown Members menu, select Preferences.

Click on WWW icon. Then select Advanced. Purge Cache.

Make sure that the "Use Inline Autocomplete" box is NOT checked.
This function will complete a partial web address while typing a location in the address bar at the top of the browser.

  • Internet Explorer:

Found on the MS Internet Explorer Page,  clicking on the "Tools" icon at the top "Internet Options", and then the "Advanced" tab.
About halfway down there is a "Use Autocomplete" box that can be unchecked by clicking on it.

This information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet would be at a local library, a friend's house, or at work.

Contact information:
ABA Commission on Domestic Violence
740 15th Street, NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-1022



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