Safety Planning - For the Trans community

Publication Date: 
2010
Resource Origin: 
Springtide Resources

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing abuse, it can help a lot to create a safety plan: a list of strategies to use when you feel that abuse is happening or about to happen.

Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, and think about your house/apartment/shelter.

  • Where are the phones located?
  • How many exits are there, and where are they?
  • Is there anywhere you can hide things (like your passport, immigration papers, hormones, binders, dilators, a change of clothes, etc.)?
  • Is there somewhere you can always leave your keys/purse/wallet, in case you have to leave quickly?
  • If the abuse happens in your house/apartment/shelter, where does it usually happen?
  • Are there phones or exits near there?
  • If your partner doesn't live with you, do this again with their house/apartment/shelter in mind.
  • Where in your home/shelter and your partner's home/shelter are weapons located (ie, knives in the kitchen)?
  • And which rooms only have one exit (ie, bathrooms)?
  • Which rooms have locks on the doors?

Who can you call if something happens?

  • Do you have family, friends, or neighbours you can rely on?
  • What are their names and numbers?
  • Could you tell them to have a special word to indicate that you're in trouble when you call (like "stop light" or "banana")?
  • Do you feel comfortable calling the police if you need to (it's ok if you don't)?

Where can you go if you need to leave? 

  • Are there neighbours you feel comfortable with?
  • Do you have any friends who live nearby? Or family members?
  • Are there any shelters in your neighbourhood?
  • Is there a hospital or police station nearby? Where is it?

Do you have children?

  • If so, help them create an easy safety plan.
  • It helps to role-play how to call the police if they are old enough. That way it's less scary for them to call the police, if they need to.

Do you have pets?

  • Is there someone in your life you could leave them with if you needed to?
  • Do you have a cat-carrier or other way of transporting your pets if you need to?
  • Where is it? Is it somewhere easy to get to on the way out?

Answering these questions can help you to know where to go and what to do when you feel threatened or abuse is happening. It may help to keep the answers in a safe place, and go over them occasionally. If you are afraid your partner might find them and get angry, it might be better to read them over a few times and then tear up the paper and put it in the garbage (or a garbage bin in a park, etc.). You could also leave a copy with a family member or friend or social service worker that you trust.

Resource developed by Morgan Page for T-GUAVA.

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