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Domestic Violence Safety Plan

Safety at home

Develop a safety plan and discuss it with your children. Review the plan as often as possible.

Change the locks and install devices to secure your windows.

To protect yourself from arson, install a smoke detector and purchase a fire extinguisher.

Make sure your children’s school, day-care center, or camp knows who is authorized to pick up your children.

Tell your neighbors and landlord that your abuser no longer lives there and ask them to call the police if they see him or her near your home.

Trim all trees and shrubbery for unobstructed view of  property surrounding home.

Before you resume a potentially abusive relationship, discuss alternatives with someone you trust.

Safety in public or at work

If you have a restraining order, keep it with you at all times.

Provide a photograph of your abuser to building security.

Vary your routes to and from work and arrange for someone to escort you to your car, bus, or ride. Park in well lit areas.

Safety during an explosive incident

If an argument seems unavoidable, move to a room or area with easy access to an exit — not a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.

Identify which door, window, stairwell or elevator offers the quickest way out of the home — and practice your route.

Have a bag packed and ready. Keep it in an undisclosed but accessible place where you can retrieve it quickly.

Find neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance.

Devise a code word to use with your children, family, and friends when you need the police.

Decide where you will go, and how you will get there, if you have to leave, even if you don’t think it will come to that.

Use your instincts and judgment. Consider ways to defuse a dangerous situation.

You have a right to protect yourself when you are in danger. You do not deserve to be battered or threatened.

How to help make your children safer

  • Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help you.
  • Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address and phone number to the police.
  • Teach them who to call for help rather than become involved in the abuse.
  • Tell them to stay out of the kitchen and anywhere else where there are knives or other dangerous items.
  • Give the principal at school or the daycare center a copy of your court order, tell them not to release your children to anyone without talking to you first; use a password so they can be sure it is you on the telephone; give them a photograph of the abuser.
  • Make sure your children know who to tell at school if they see the abuser.
  • Make sure that the school knows not to give your address or phone number to anyone.

Pack a survival kit

  • Money, checkbook, ATM  and credit cards
  • Identification — driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, green card, public assistance ID, work permit, etc.
  • Restraining Order
  • Birth certificates — yours and your children’s
  • Clothing and toys
  • Lease, rental agreement, or house deed.
  • Insurance papers
  • Extra set of house and car keys
  • Medications / copy of prescriptions
  • Jewelry/saleable objects
  • Address / phone book
  • Divorce, custody papers; school records
  • Conceal these items in the house or leave them with a trusted friend or relative

Domestic Violence Resources

Abuse Registry (Elderly and Children)

Bureau of Crimes Compensation

YWCA Domestic Violence
Shelter Harmony House

2200 North Florida Mango Rd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
1-800-973-YWCA (9922)

Aid To Victims of Domestic Assault (AVDA),
a domestic violence shelter
PO Box 667 Delray Beach, FL 33447-0667

First Appearance
3228 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Florida Attorney General’s Office

Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline

Florida Abuse Hotline
1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873)

Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
423 Fern Street, Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 655-8944 

National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) 

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) 

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

National Runaway Switchboard

Palm Beach County Victim Services
1-866-891-7273 or 561-833-7273
(Rape crisis victim 24 hour hotline)
561-355-2418  (Monday-Friday office line)

State Attorney’s Office-Palm Beach County
(Fifteenth Judicial Circuit)
1-800-353-3859 or 561-355-7100