Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support

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Planning for Your Safety

These are some ideas to get you started on your safety plan. But every situation is different. Only you can decide what’s best for you.

Being Ready for a Crisis

You may be living with, dating, or have a child with the abuser. If it is safe for you, you might think about:

Planning to Leave or Separate From Your Partner

You may decide that leaving your partner, either temporarily or permanently, is your best option. Think about:

You might also think about taking a few things to increase the comfort to you and your children, such as favorite toys, security blanket, electronic devices like hand-held video games or MP3 players (like iPods), photos, and sentimental items.

After Leaving or Separating From Your Partner

Leaving your partner may not end the danger you faced while in the relationship. In fact, abusers can become more dangerous after their partners leave. It is important for you to plan carefully for your safety during this time. Think about:

At Work and in Public

Your partner knows your routine, including where you work, the times you travel to and from work, places you shop, what time you drop your children off at school, etc. Many people who are abused are harassed by their partners when they are at work. While it is hard to change everything you do, there may be ways you can plan for your safety at your job and while going about your daily routine. Think about:

Note: All New York State governmental agencies (as well as many private employers) have domestic violence workplace policies. For more information, check your employee manual or ask your human resources department.

With an Order of Protection

Note: If you lose your order of protection or your partner destroys it, the order is still in effect. You can get another copy from the court that issued it.

IMPORTANT: If your partner violates any part of the order of protection, you can call the police and report the violation, contact your attorney, call your advocate, and/or tell the court about the violation. Keep a record of who you contact for help, including: name, date, reason and how they respond.

Taking Care of Yourself

It is important to plan for your physical safety, but it is also important to plan for your emotional health and safety. You might be stressed, confused, frightened, and sad. Think about:


NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline

English & español, Multi-Language Accessibility National Relay Service for Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 711


In NYC: 311 or 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)

TDD: 1-866-604-5350