If you are in an abusive relationship, creating a safety plan in advance can help you get out of home safely and quickly, if necessary. Follow these five steps to create your safety plan.

There is a domestic violence support service in every county who can help you with your safety planning. Click here to find a service near you .

It is helpful to work through these steps, even if things are going smoothly at the moment. Also, bring your safety plan with you in case you need to leave in a hurry.

Step one

Be prepared and think about:

  • Where you can go to make a safe telephone call
  • A safe place where you can stay in an emergency – This may be with a friend or relative, a women’s refuge, a hotel or bed and breakfast
  • The telephone number of the safe place
  • How to get to the safe place
  • Decide how you will get there at different times of the day and night
  • The number of a local taxi firm
  • What to tell the children and how to talk to them about it when you need to put the safety plan into action

Step two

Write down these important details, including:

  • Your PRSI/PPS or claim number
  • Your family’s essential medicines
  • Your child benefit book number
  • Important phone numbers

Other useful phone numbers to have:

  • Taxi
  • Health Centre
  • Doctor
  • Social welfare office
  • Garda station
  • Housing department
  • Law centre / solicitor
  • Women’s refuge / support service
  • District court
  • Rape Crisis Centre

Step three

Collect together the following items and hide them somewhere you can get to them in a hurry. It may be a good idea to put them in a bag and store it with a friend:

  • Enough money to get to a safe place by bus or taxi
  • An extra set of keys for your home
  • An extra set of keys for your car
  • Extra clothes for you and your children

Step four

Think about where you can find the following items in a hurry:

  • School uniforms and some of your children’s things
  • Essential medicines
  • Have a bag ready

The social welfare require personal identification and evidence to assess your entitlement. So, also pack:

  • Court order documents
  • Claim’s book
  • Marriage certificate
  • Bank details
  • RSI / PPS card
  • Medical card
  • Birth certificates
  • Pay slips

Step five

If you can, discuss your safety plan with a trusted friend so they can support you if you need to put it into action. Keep your safety plan in a safe place. Ideally, somewhere you can get it quickly if you need to leave in a hurry.

There are other things you can do to improve your safety. Learn more

For reference

The above safety plan is taken mainly from the booklet “Lean on Me, an information guide for women living with domestic violence” and has been reproduced with the kind permission of ADAPT Services, Limerick.