Safety Planning During COVID-19

Staying Safe When Home is Not Safe

Going to the bathroom or a closet can provide an added layer of privacy. If you are on the phone and unattended, you can run the shower or faucet to make some noise during the call, if you feel comfortable doing so. If you have safe access to the internet, you can chat with the ACESDV. Helpline at www.acesdv.org/helpline.

If going outside is possible, social distancing still permits walks, while maintaining a physical distance of six feet from other people. Going outside can give you a break from a tense situation. It can also remove you from and/or deescalate an unsafe situation. Remember to take this time to ground yourself, call a social support, or reach out to a hotline.

Work to identify a network of people in your building or digital community for continued support. Create a code word or sentence with people in your supportive network to indicate that you need an immediate interruption or immediate help can be useful. You should discuss with your support network what help would look like if you use the code word or sentence (e.g., deescalation, calling a specific individual, calling 911).
If possible try to hide resources in safe places and create a plan for escaping. Do your best to keep your ID on your person as much as possible. Create a go-bag of essentials including your medication, money, phone charger, food, and IDs. Think about the easiest and safest routes to get out of your home quickly.

Other Safety Considerations

Technology

If a survivor is using technology to reach out for help, consider the following to enhance their security:

  • Clear browser history
  • Clear recent calls
  • Delete text messages
  • Delete emails
  • Use a different phone number (e.g., Google Voice)
  • Use safety planning apps or resources (e.g., myPlan App)
  • Check location sharing settings

Daily Routines

Think about your daily routine. Where can you find 10 minutes to seek help? Some ideas:
  • Going to the laundry room or laundromat
  • Going for a walk or walking the dog
  • Taking the children to the park
  • Grocery shopping or getting water
  • Taking the trash out
  • Making calls to family, friends, your supervisor, etc.
  • Exercising outdoors
  • Getting gas
  • Washing the car
  • Going to a convenience store
  • Picking up medications
  • Getting take-out food
  • Doing yard work

Emotional Safety

Being in an abusive home or relationship takes a toll on a person's emotional well-being. Consider the following to help a survivor be emotionally safe during this time.

  • Share self-care techniques (e.g., positive self-talk, breathing exercises, etc.)
  • Encourage the survivor to reach out to their support network and/or spiritual support systems
  • Brainstorm ways the survivor can regulate themselves if they are feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, or scared
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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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