Domestic Violence Safety Plan Step 1 

If I decide to leave, I will __________________________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes would you use?)

I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them _________________________ (place) in order to leave quickly. (Often good to get a spare set of keys made)

I can tell _______________________about the violence and request they call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from my house.

I can teach my children how to use the telephone to contact the police and the fire department.

I will use _______________________________________as my code for my children or my friends so they can call for help.

If I have to leave my home, I will go ______________________________ (Decide this even if you don’t think there will be a next time). If I cannot go to the location above, then I can go to ___________________________________________.

I can also teach some of these strategies to some/all of my children.

When I expect we are going to have an argument, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as _________________________________ ( Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons, or in rooms without access to an outside door).

I will use my judgment and intuition. If the situation is very serious, I can give my partner what he/she wants to calm him/her down. I have to protect myself until I/we are out of danger.

 Step 2 Safety When Preparing To Leave 

I can use some or all the following strategies:

I will leave money and an extra set of keys with _______________________ so that I can leave quickly.

I will keep copies of important papers and documents or an extra set of keys at __________________________________________.

I will open a savings account by _________________________________, to increase my independence.

Other things I can do to increase my independence include:

The domestic violence program’s hotline telephone number is _________________________ and I can seek shelter by calling this hotline.

I can keep change for phone calls on me at all times. I understand that if I use my telephone credit card, the following month the telephone bill will tell my batterer those numbers that I called after I left. To keep my telephone communications confidential, I must either use coins or I might get a friend to permit me to use their telephone credit card for a limited time when I first leave.

I will check with _______________________________________and _______________________________________to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money in an emergency.

I can leave extra clothes with _______________________________________.

I will sit down and review my safety plan every _________________________ in order to plan the safest way to leave the residence.

_____________________________________ (domestic violence advocate/friend) has agreed to help me review this plan.

I will rehearse my escape plan and, as appropriate, practice it with my children.

Step 3 Safety in My Own Residence

I can change the locks on my doors and windows as soon as possible.

I can replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors.

I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, an electronic system, etc.

I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.

I can install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for each floor in my house/apartment.

I can install an outside lighting system that lights up when a person is coming close to my house.

I will teach my children how to use the telephone to make a collect call to me and to _______________________ (friend/family) in the event that my partner takes the children.

I will tell people who take care of my children which people have permission to pick up my children and that my partner is not permitted to do so. The people I will inform about pick-up permission include:


________________________________________(Day Care Staff)


________________________________________(Sunday School Teacher)


________________________________________(             )

________________________________________(             )

I can inform _________________________________________, and _______________________________________(neighbors), ________________________(pastor), and they should call police if he/she is observed near my residence.

 Step 4 Safety With an Order of Protection 

I will keep my protection order ____________________________________(location) (Always keep it on or near your person. If you change purses, that’s the first thing that should go in).

I will give my protection order to police departments in the communities where I usually visit family or friends and in the community where I live and work.

I can call local domestic violence programs if I have questions or if I have some problem with my protection order.

I will inform my employer, my minister, my closest friend, my relatives, and _________________________________________ and _________________________ that I have a protection order.

If my partner destroys my protection order, I can get another copy from the court clerk where they order was issued.

If my partner violates the protection order, I can call the police and report the violation, contact my attorney, call my advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation.

If the police do not help, I can contact my advocate or attorney and will file a complaint with the chief of the police for that department.

 Step 5 Safety on the Job and in Public 

I can inform my boss, the security supervisor and ____________________ at work about my situation.

I can ask _________________________________ to help screen my telephone calls at work.

When leaving work, I can ________________________________________.

When driving home if problems occur, I can ______________________________.

If I use public transit, I can ___________________________________________.

 I will go to different grocery stores and shopping malls to conduct my business and shop at hours that are different than those when residing with my batterer partner.

 I can use a different bank and take care of my banking  at hours different than those I used when residing with my batterer partner.

 I can also _____________________________________________________________.

 Step 6 Safety and Drug or Alcohol Use 

If I am going to use, I can do so in a safe place and with people who understand the risk of violence and are committed to my safety.

 I can also _______________________________________________.

If my partner is using, I can __________________________________________.

I might also ___________________________________________________.

To safeguard my children, I might ___________________________________ and ___________________________________.

 Step 7 Safety and My Emotional Health 

If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation, I can ________________________________________.

When I have to communicate with my partner in person or by telephone, I can __________________________________________.

I can try to use “I can…” statements with myself and to be assertive with others.

I can tell myself- “__________________________________________________________-“ whenever I feel others are trying to control or abuse me.

I can read ________________________________________ to help me feel stronger.

I can call ___________________________________ and ____________________ as other resources to be of support of me.

Other things I can do to help me feel stronger are _______________________________.

I can attend workshops and support groups at the domestic violence program or ____________________________________, or _______________________________ to gain support and strengthen my relationship with other people.

 Step 8 When I Leave, I Should 

  • Identification for myself
  • Children’s birth certificate
  • My birth certificate
  • Social Security Cards
  • School and vaccination records
  • Money
  • Checkbook, ATM card, credit cards
  • Keys
  • Driver’s license
  • Medication
  • Paperwork/Documents
  • Medical records
  • Lease/Rental agreement, house deed
  • Bank books
  • Small saleable objects
  • Address book, pictures, jewelry
  • Children’s favorite toy, book, blanket
  • Items of special sentimental value

 Telephone numbers I need to know: Advocate                    ____________________Counselor                   ____________________Local Police                ____________________Crisis Line                  ____________________Shelter                        ____________________ Work number ____________________Supervisor’s home     ____________________Minister                      ____________________ I will keep this document in a safe place and out of the reach of my potential attacker. Review date               ____________________



  • Joking and insults
  • Ignoring or minimizing feelings
  • Withholds approval and emotional support as punishment
  • Yelling, name calling
  • Repeated insults, degrading
  • Targeted insults, or labeling
  • Belittling and private humiliation
  • Public humiliation
  • Blaming and accusing
  • Demands all attention
  • Resentful of children or marriage
  • Threats against children or marriage
  • Threats to take the children
  • Degrading role as mate, lover, or partner
  • Giving mixed signals
  • Lack of cause and effect
  • Questions sense of reality
  • Depression
  • Nervous breakdown
  • Mental illness
  • Complete isolation/withdrawn
  • Suicide by victim


  • Refusal to meet physical needs of dependents
  • Push, shove
  • Strangle, beat
  • Jerk, slap, bite, pinch
  • Shake, bruising
  • Withholding sex and affection
  • Hit, punch, kick
  • Targeted hitting
  • Repeated hitting
  • Use of objects as weapons
  • Throwing victim
  • Restraining while hitting or punching
  • Abuse during pregnancy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lacerations, broken bones, internal injuries
  • Use of weapons
  • Disabling or disfiguring
  • Murder


  • Sexual jokes or demeaning gender remarks
  • Jealousy, assumes you are sexual with others
  • Unwanted touching
  • Criticism of sexuality
  • Name calling with sexual epithets
  • Forced to look at/engage in pornography
  • Demanding monogamy from victim despite promiscuous behavior by batterer
  • Coercive/demanding sex (use of threats)
  • Humiliation
  • Forceful sex (rape)
  • Forced, uncomfortable sex
  • Coercive/demanding sex after pregnancy or surgery
  • Rape resulting in permanent injury
  • Rape with imprisonment
  • Rape with murder


  • Uses gender myths and roles. Eliminate support system
  • Uses sexism, racism and/or homophobia. Prevents victim from learning English, degrades culture, religion or nationality
  • Alienates victim’s family/friends profession, gender. Threatens to ‘out’ lesbian or gay
  • Destroys or damages victim’s property. Tells victim they are always in control
  • Demonstration of strength. Complete isolation
  • Controls major decisions. Child abuse/incest
  • Enforces economic dependence. Destroys/maims family pet
  • Controls money/finances. Deprives victim of food, medicine, sleep
  • Denies access to work/gets them fired. Convinces victim they are hysterical, paranoid
  • Threatens to hurt victim’s extended family
  • Threatens to report to immigration. Suicide


Information given here is credited to Metropolitan King County Council April 2002


Everyday is like a painter’s canvas. If I pick the colors before I paint the picture, I always have to go back and change them. If I just allow the colors to fill in throughout the day, I have a master piece every night.

Balancing Life

Are you feeling as though your life is off balanced? Look at the wheel below. Chances are you are neglecting one of your quadrants. You must devote time (doesn’t have to be equal time) to each quadrant in order to remain whole.life-wheel.jpg

Stephanieflesher’s Weblog › Create New Post — WordPress

me1.jpg  Stephanie offers individual, couples, and family counseling in her private practice at Spirit of Healing Counseling and Massage in Sumner, WA. There, she works with a collaborative group of counselors and healing professionals to deliver high quality, holistic mental health support for her clients. 

Stephanie has worked with a variety of organizations in the Seattle area by designing and delivering workshops and programs to bridge employee relations and increase the company’s bottom line. Her programs include training sessions on Elder Abuse, Domestic Violence, Conflict Resolution, Engaging Employees, Employee Relations, Mandated Reporting, Implementing a Domestic Violence Policy in the Workplace, and Workplace Violence.

Stephanie also designed and implemented an advocacy based program to support victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Elder Abuse for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Stephanie specializes in trauma related issues that effect Native Communities, as well as working with youth to deal with issues such as: Gang Violence, Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Issues, and Life Skills Training.

Stephanie also provides continuous offerings of community education on a variety of topics including: Building Self Esteem After Trauma, Casey Life Skills Training for Youth and Adults, How the Brain is Affected by Trauma, Domestic Violence and How it Effects Children, Mind-fullness Based Stress Reduction, Conflict Resolution in the Workplace, Active Listening Skills, Personal Coaching, Implementing Domestic Violence Policy’s in the Workplace, and other trauma related topics. 

Speaking to groups is a personal passion for Stephanie. She provides both private and public speaking services for businesses or conferences around the United States. Stephanie is also able to work with a client to customize to target specific messages. Some of her previous speaking engagements have been on issues regarding: Domestic Violence, Conflict Resolution, Active Listening, Engaging Employees, Employee Relations, Implementing a Domestic Violence Policy in the Workplace, and Workplace Violence.

Stephanie earned her Bachelors degree in Native American Studies at Evergreen State College. Stephanie received her Master’s Degree in Systems Counseling/Applied Behavioral Science from the Leadership Institute of Seattle at Bastyr University. Stephanie has also recently completed Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and is actively putting together a group of trained professionals to work disaster relief in Native Country.