Safety Planning

About Safety Planning

This site contains material to help you understand safety planning, make a safety plan for yourself, make a safety plan with family and friends, and provides a checklist for staying safe.  This site is Australian but most of what its information is applicable to all countries.

Bright Sky App for Victims of Domestic Abuse

A new free app to help victims of domestic abuse record evidence of their abusive relationships and seek professional help was launched in the UK.  The app, called Bright Sky, encourages people experiencing domestic abuse to log private journal entries in the form of text, photos and videos, which are then sent to a designated email address.  This information can be sent to the authorities at a later date.

Cell Phone & Location Safety Strategies [Internet Archive link]
Cell Phone Location, Privacy and Intimate Partner Violence [Internet Archive link]
Cell Phone: Location Tracking and Sharing [Internet Archive link]

These three PDFs provide excellent information about how smartphones can be used by abusers to stalk their victims.

Technology Safety & Privacy: A Toolkit for Survivors – Technology Safety

The Technology Safety Toolkit link leads to a wealth of information on technology safety information for survivors, including cell phones, connected devices, social media, etc. If you choose one of the Toolkit links, an option to download a PDF version of the information listed is usually provided at the end of that page. The link to the Technology Safety website can also be accessed from near the bottom of The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).

Circle of 6

With Circle of 6 app you can connect with your friends to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens. The Circle of 6 app for iPhone and Android makes it quick and easy to reach the 6 friends you choose.

Cyber stalking & harassment

From Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Australia.  This site addresses the new avenues for abuse that technologies such as the internet, email and mobile phones have opened up.

Digital stalking – a guide to technology risks for victims

 by Jennifer Perry 

Easy English Safety Plan, USA

This safety plan is useful for all victims, but especially for those who have trouble reading or use English as their second language.  It provides step-by-step instructions for implementing a safety plan regardless of whether the victim is living with the abuser, leaving the abuser, or has already left.  It is used courtesy of the Outer South Peninsula Integrated Family Violence Partnership, Melbourne, Australia.  Information and phone numbers have been changed to reflect organizations in the USA.

Easy Safety Plan, Australia

This is the original safety plan courtesy of the Outer South Peninsula Integrated Family Violence Partnership, Melbourne, Australia, thus all information is pertinent to Australia.

Easy Spanish Safety Plan, USA

This is a Spanish translation of the Easy English Safety Plan, USA, listed above.

Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (Document the Abuse)

Ensure that a victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.

A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.

The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.

A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution.

Family Tree Now

Note (copied from the Family Tree Now website):  If you would like to optout of living people and other records please follow the below procedure exactly. Please read through all steps before starting.

It was brought to our attention that there is a genealogy website called Family Tree Now that might very well have information on it that you might not want there, such as  your address, past addresses, family members, possibly your children, ages etc. Below are instructions on how to Opt Out. It will take up to 48 hours to have your information completely removed and you will probably want to search former last names (maiden and married) as you might be listed twice.

Here is the information on how to remove yourself from Family Tree Now.

Step #1:  Go to Family Tree Now – Opt Out of Records and read carefully through the steps.  After reading the steps, confirm you are not a robot with reCAPTCHA and then click on the green “Begin Opt Out Procedure” button.  Picture #1

Step #2:  Fill out the form that comes up to search their records.  Picture #2

Step #3: Once the results come up click on the record to open it up and read it to be sure that it is you.  If several options come up, look at all of them to find your records.  Once you have found your record, click on the red “Opt Out This Record” button.

How to collect evidence if your intervention order [protection order] is breached

This five minute video is by Women’s Health West and Victoria Police of Victoria, Australia. It features local women demonstrating simple and practical ways of gathering evidence. Note: This video is from Victoria, Australia, where “protection orders” are called “intervention orders” and the emergency phone number is 000, not 911 as in the USA.

Inside A Domestic Violence Shelter (VIDEO)

Once a victim of domestic violence decides to leave her abuser, she might turn to a domestic violence shelter to help her. What are these shelters like? What can she expect when she arrives?  This video takes you on a tour of the inside of one such shelter.

Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for helping people who are feeling suicidal

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.  In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

MOSAIC Threat Assessment method

Risk and Threat Assessment tool you can do online; and it’s free. Risk assessment is a vital ingredient in safety planning. The Mosaic method was developed by Gavin de Becker, author of the excellent book The Gift Of Fear. Mosaic helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the outcomes are known.

Nurse Joanna Explains Why a Survivor of Strangulation Should Seek Help

Nurse Joanna is compassionate and easy to understand.  Her tone is perfect for victims.

Olympia Gospel Mission Bible Studies on Domestic Abuse

The appendix of this PDF workbook has a good information on how to create and implement a safety plan.

Online safety checklist

This online safety checklist is from the Australian eSafetyCommissioner website.

Promoting Safe and Healthy Online Communities

by VAWnet

Protective Behaviors for Children

An ACFJ post that might answer some questions from mothers who are about to have to provide their abuser with unsupervised access to their children, and the mothers know the abuser has been sexually grooming or outright sexually abusing the children.

Protective Parent Storehouse

This website is for the parent involved in a custody dispute where a potential abuser, his/her legal team, or Child Protective Services has accused you of false reporting or characterized you as vengeful and mentally ill.

Protection Orders: Do they work? Who violates them the most?

A review of research regarding civil court orders of protective.  Protection Orders are a key resource now available in every state in the US as a potential legal response to domestic violence. While available in all states, the types of protections offered, legal requirements, and procedures vary from state-to-state.  (This review is by the University of Kentucky in the USA, so it’s findings will be more applicable to the USA than other countries.)

Recording a Phone Call or Conversation:  It is Legal

by Brian Willingham

Recording Phone Calls and Conversations

This article discusses how federal and state laws affect how and if you can record phone calls and conversations.

Digital Recorders ~Not Diamonds~Are a Girl’s Best Friend:  Tips, Laws and Possibilities

This article gives an overview of what one needs to be mindful of when considering electronic recordings.  This article is also available in Spanish.

Red Flags — Risk Factors that may indicate that victims are at an increased risk of being killed or almost killed

DVRCV (Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria) has released an infographic “Red Flags” highlighting the factors that put family violence victims at increased risk of being killed or seriously injured. This infographic comes as a PDF and can be downloaded here. We encourage you to print this PDF and share it with those needing to learn more about domestic violence and abuse.

Risk Assessment

For practitioners and victim-advocates, these articles explain what is necessary to understand and assess risk.

Safety Planning

The National (USA) Domestic Violence Hotline’s tips for safety planning

SmartSafe: Technology Abuse & Your Safety

These short SmartSafe How-to Videos provide safety tips on how to change some settings on Android phones and iPhones.

The SmartSafe+ mobile app

SmartSafe+ mobile app

Android Phones

SmartSafe – Turning geotagging off your photos on an Android phone

SmartSafe – Immediate safety settings for an Android phone

SmartSafe – Turn off location history on an Android phone

SmartSafe – Taking a screenshot for evidence collection on an Android phone


SmartSafe – turning geotagging off your photos on an iPhone

SmartSafe – Turn off frequent locations on an iPhone

SmartSafe – clear your iPhone browser history

SmartSafe – taking a screenshot for evidence collection

SmartSafe – immediate safety settings for an iPhone

SmartSafe – immediate safety settings for an iPhone

Steps 2 Safety: The Intervention Order Process (Victoria, Australia)

This is a video that explains the process for obtaining a Protection Order in Victoria, Australia. It is available in English, Arabic, Chin – Hakha, Chinese – Mandarin, Dinka, and Punjabi.

In other states and other countries, the process of obtaining a Protection Order may well be different and the laws may differ also. But since there may be some similarities, this video may help you. Just remember, the instructions may not exactly apply to you where you live.

Also, bear in mind that Protection Orders are called by many different names — Restraining Order, Apprehended Violence Order, Intervention Order, etc.

Strangulation: Detection & Investigation

Brian Bennett is a domestic violence instructor with the State Criminal Justice Academy in South Carolina and an advisor in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault.

TalkingParents is designed to help parents avoid disputes by keeping a complete record of communications.  They maintain the record as an independent third party, making sure parents cannot delete or alter anything they have said.

We have not actually used this site ourselves but have examined it pretty carefully including looking at the terms and conditions (the fine print). From our assessment, it looks like it could be a helpful service for some of our readers; but we urge readers to look at the fine print in the Terms of Service for themselves, before they sign up.

One more thing: the site uses the term ‘high conflict divorce,’  a term which is often used in the family court system.  We don’t like the term ‘high conflict divorce’ as we believe it is a mutualising euphemism for what actually goes on in domestic abuse: the unilateral abuse by one spouse against the other spouse. However, the site doesn’t seem to use that term often, and the benefits which the site may give to its users probably outweigh the sting of that euphemism.

Tech Safety App

By the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Tech Safety has an app which contains information that can help someone identify technology-facilitated harassment, stalking, or abuse and includes tips on what can be done.  Available in English and Spanish.

Technology Safety

From National Network to End Domestic Violence.  This site has several resources to help victims and agencies respond effectively to the many ways that technology impacts victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.  Also has information about a Tech Safety App.

Tips for selecting a strong online password

from WordPress

The Women’s Services Network (WESNET) of Australia

With almost 350 members across Australia, WESNET is a national women’s peak advocacy body which works on behalf of women and child who are experiencing or have experienced domestic or family violence. WESNET represents a range of organizations and individuals including women’s refuse, shelters, safe houses and information/referral services.  Below are links to two of their safety planning resources:

Safety Planning:  Technology Safety Plan
Safety Planning Booklet

Why safety planning is so important

A comment by Barbara Roberts that includes an answer by Dr George Simon Jr – Protection Orders, Why Safety Planning is So Important

Wikipedia’s article on Restraining Orders

We cannot guarantee this Wikipedia Article is fully up to date and accurate, but it may be helpful. For up to date and accurate advice about obtaining a Restraining Order in your own State/Country, we urge you to contact your local Domestic Abuse Support Services. – Safety Tips — a project of the National Network to end Domestic Violence (NNEDV)

WomensLaw is an extensive website launched to provide legal information and resources for survivors of domestic violence.  They also provide several pages of safety tips for keeping the victim and family members safe in various situations.  The above link are will take you to their Safety Tips.

3 thoughts on “Safety Planning”

  1. I’ve been searching but can’t find the blog post on how often a domestic violence fatality is not proceeded by physical abuse. Could you point me to it, please? Thank you!

    1. Hi Hello Sunshine,

      I have been unable to find a specific post that discusses how often a domestic violence fatality is not proceeded by physical abuse. Barbara has read that fact several times from secular DV research so it is possible that she mentioned that fact in the comment section of a post. Or possibly you read that fact on another site.

      Here are links to three secular DV sites that may have more information on this. ANROWS, Safe Steps, and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)

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