Develop a safety plan
Something you can do to help keep yourself safe is to have a safety plan, for those times when you feel unsafe or at risk of being hurt.
The following safety plan is an example of what you can do to prepare for a time when you are unsafe and need to leave quickly.
- Decide who you will call if you feel threatened or in danger. This will probably be the police but could also be a neighbour, relative or friend.
- Decide where you will go if you need a safe place. You may need to leave the house in a hurry if you think you may be hurt. If you have children, develop a safety plan for them such as working out where they can go that is safe if you are unable to get away. This could be a neighbour or someone else who lives close by.
- If possible, save some money for a taxi, bus or train for emergency transportation to a safe place.
- Keep extra keys to your house and car in a safe place.
- Make a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Consider keeping some clothing, medications, important papers, keys and money with someone you can trust.
- Practice travelling to the location that you have chosen as a safe place.
- Decide what arrangements you might need to make for your pets if they are at risk of being harmed. The RSPCA Queensland and DVConnect's Pets in Crisis domestic violence program provides temporary care of animals with trained, volunteer foster carers. People who need to stay in domestic violence refuges but are unable to find alternative care for their pets can contact DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 to arrange pet accommodation. Prior to fostering, the RSPCA will examine the animal and provide immediate care and assessment for animals needing vaccines and basic assistance.
- Take steps to protect your personal information and online security. Find out how to secure your accounts and devices.
- Find out what to do if you have concerns about your safety when arriving at, being in and leaving court. If you are seeking a domestic violence order, talk to your local domestic violence service and ask to speak to a court support worker.
Read more on what you can do to help increase your own and your children’s safety.
- Australia Post offers a free 12-month mail redirection service to victims of domestic and family violence. You can apply in-person at any post office in Australia. You will need a domestic violence order, statutory declaration from the police, or letter on an approved letterhead from a support agency to access this service.
- Re-focus is a free, easy to use and interactive app for women who are thinking of separating. It covers legal information about domestic violence, arrangements for children, financial and property matters, options for reaching a legal agreement and safe accommodation. It also provides helpful referrals and coping tips about separation.
- Penda is a free app that combines financial tips, legal information and referrals for women who have experienced domestic and family violence.
- Sunny is 1800RESPECT's app for women with disability who have experienced violence and abuse. Sunny has been co-designed with women with disability to make sure it provides the best support for the people who use it.