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Contact Call to Safety’s 24/7 crisis line for support and information: 1.888.235.5333.

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Safety Planning

You have a right to be safe!

Below are some suggestions to consider when planning around your safety. Every situation is unique. Some of these safety planning ideas may help to minimize violence in your relationship but some may increase violence, depending on the situation; we encourage you to trust yourself when deciding if a safety planning idea will work for you. Call us any time at 1.888.235.5333 to create an individualized safety plan with a Call to Safety advocate. Click the plus sign on each tab below for detailed information on each scenario

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  • Have a bag packed that you store at a trusted person’s home with important items.  See ‘Safety Planning Checklist’ below for items you may want to store somewhere else.
  • Practice getting out of your home safely.  Identify safe exits including which door, windows, staircase, and elevator to use.
  • Try to move out of a bathroom, kitchen, garage or other room with potential weapons.
  • Try to move to a place with an exit.  Avoid rooms with no outside access.
    • If safe, identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence.  Consider asking them to contact the police if they hear disturbance coming from your home.
  • Create a code word with family, friends, children and neighbors when you need the police.  Teach your children how to call 911 and/or a safe family member.
  • Create a plan for where you can go if you have to leave your home in a hurry.

Abusive relationships involve a person taking power and control over another. When a survivor of violence makes a decision to leave an abusive relationship the abusive person may feel like they are losing control and respond with increased violence. As a result, leaving can be the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship.  Below are some safety ideas to consider before leaving an abusive relationship. A Call to Safety advocate can help you plan around leaving. Call any time: 1.888.235.5333

  • Get a checking/savings or credit card in your own name.  Make sure the mailing address and phone number attached to the account are for somewhere other than where the abusive person lives.
  • Get your own post office box.
  • A safety deposit box might be a good option for storing valuable belongings.
  • Have a safe place where you can go – family or friends, distant relative, or shelter if you need to leave in a hurry.
  • If you live with the abusive person, it’s recommended that you have housing arranged before ending an abusive relationship. If you will be staying in your home you may want to obtain a restraining order to help prevent the abusive person from coming to your home. A Call to Safety Advocate can help you weigh the pros and cons of obtaining a restraining order.
  • If you are leaving your home and don’t have other housing arranged, consider learning about what homeless shelters may be available before leaving.
  • Identify someone who may be able to lend you money if needed.
  • Keep the crisis line number with you at all times and call if you need to review your safety plan, find out about shelters, or just for support. 1.888.235.5333
  • We encourage you to be careful if you are making plans to leave over the phone or through email. Try to use a phone or computer that the abuser can not access and see your emails, call log or telephone bill.  If you make a call from your home call another number immediately after, so the abusive person can’t redial the last number called.
  • Keep change or a calling card with you in case you need to call for help from a pay phone or another phone.
  • Make arrangements for a safe place for your pet.
  • Change the schools your child attends.
  • Inform your child’s school, daycare, etc. of who has permission to pick them up.
  •  Refer to the ‘Safety Planning Checklist’ tab below outlining important items to bring with you.

If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted, you can apply for a restraining order.  If you are in Multnomah County you can obtain a restraining order at the downtown courthouse located at 1021 SW 4th Avenue, Room 211. If you need a restraining order against an intimate partner you may be able to obtain a restraining order at the Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services, which is located at 10305 E. Burnside. The courthouse and Gateway Center have advocates to assist you in filling out the restraining order paperwork. You can contact Call to Safety with questions regarding restraining orders or for support in weighting the pros and cons of obtaining and maintaining a restraining order.

Below are suggestions for safety if you have a restraining order.

  • Keep your restraining order with you at all times.
  • Check with the police to make sure your restraining order is in their database.
  • Call the police immediately if your abuser violates the order.
  • Inform your family, friends, employer and neighbors that you have a restraining order in effect. You could ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near you, your home, or your work.
  • Create a plan to minimize risk of harm if the abusive person violates the order and the police do not respond immediately.
  • If your abuser destroys your restraining order you can obtain a replacement from the courthouse where the order was granted.

If your abuser contests the restraining order you can contact a Call to Safety Advocate for referrals to free attorneys that can help you prepare for a contested restraining order hearing.

The below suggestions are for safety planning in your home.

  • Keep your windows and doors locked at all times. If the abusive person has keys to your home consider changing the locks. Know that there is an Oregon law that allows you to request that your landlord change your locks in a timely manner.
  • Have someone inspect the structural integrity of your windows and doors.  You may want to install safety devices such as motion detector lights, dowels in your windows or doors so they can’t be forced open or an alarm system.
  • Develop a safety plan with your children.  This may include having an emergency exit plan you practice with your children (similar to a fire drill) and teaching them when and how to dial 911 or a safe loved one for support.
  • Talk with your roommates/neighbors/landlord and ask them to call the police if your abuser is seen at or near your home.
  • If relocating, it may be dangerous to tell your abuser where you live or call your abuser on your home or cell phone. If you need to have contact with the abusive person you may want to buy a disposable/untraceable phone that does not have GPS capabilities to communicate with them on.
  • Request an unlisted/unpublished number from the telephone company.
  • Have mail sent to a post office box and not your place of residence. If relocating, consider applying for the Address Confidentiality Program BEFORE you give your new address to anyone.  If eligible for this program you will be given a confidential address that can’t be traced to your physical location. To apply or learn more about this program, connect with Call to Safety.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and purchase fire extinguishers to place around your home.
  • Keep flashlights in convenient locations.
  • Keep an extra cell phone to be able to call 911.  You can call the crisis line for a referral to a free 911  phone.

Below are suggestions for planning around your safety at work or when in public.

  • Inform your employer of your situation and creating a plan with your employer in case your abuser comes to your workplace.  Consider provide your co-workers or security officers with a picture of your abuser.
  • Ask for your name and phone number to not be published on your employer’s website
  • If the abusive person knows your office phone number consider asking your employer for a new number.
  • Ask for your phone calls to be screened at work.
  • Have someone walk you to and from your car, or always try to walk out with a friend if you don’t want to disclose your experience.
  • Use a variety of routes when going to and from home so your travel can’t be predicted by the abusive person.
  • Identify a safety plan in case your abuser does follow you while in transit. If you feel like the person is following you home, consider driving to a police station or another safe location before going home. If using public transit consider notifying the driver, getting off with a crowd rather than by yourself, or switching buses/maxes to go to a different location.
  • If you use the bus or other public transit, develop a safety plan for waiting at transit stops.  This may include taking an alternative route if possible.
  • Change the times you visit or changing the locations of the grocery stores, banks, gas stations, etc. from the ones your abuser knows you shop at.

Abusers often use technology to keep track of and control survivors. Below are suggestions around increasing safety when using technology.

  • Computers can store private information about websites, emails, instant messages, calls you make, etc.  It is NOT possible to completely clear all of the sites you have visited from your browser history. Try to use a computer your abuser does not have access to when searching or reaching out for help. For example, public libraries often have free computers that people can use.
  • Computer monitoring software can easily be placed on a computer, allowing an abusive person to view all of your computer activity. If the abuser has or had physical access to the computer or if you have communicated at any time with the abuser using that computer they may have remote access to your computer.  Be cautions of accessing bank and email accounts on any computer that you fear may be monitored.
  • Text messages and cell phone calls may be logged into your cell phone bill or be available by request. If the abusive person has access to your phone account you may want to avoid using your phone for safety planning or communicating with loved ones about your relationship.
  • GPS, a location tracking device, is now installed on many cell phones and in cars.  Consider disabling this feature on your phone or car.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored or you are being followed, we encourage you to trust your instincts. Call to Safety is available to support you in creating safety knowing your privacy and safety may be at risk. Please call us anytime at 1.888.235.5333.

When leaving an abusive situation, whether it be for a day or forever, it’s a good idea to be prepared to leave with essential items and paperwork you may need. If possible and safe, it can be helpful to pack a bag with essential items that you can store at a safe location (such as a loved one’s home, at work, at the gym, at school, or in your car). If you don’t have a safe place to store items it can be helpful to store important items in one location in your home so you can easily grab them if you need to leave in a hurry.

We understand that each situation is unique and it may be dangerous for some to pack and store important items in a safe location.  We encourage you to trust yourself to know what is safe for your individual situation. A Call to Safety Advocate can help you talk over your unique situation and create a safety plan with you. Please call us anytime at 1.888.235.5333. Below is a list of items you may want to leave with.



  • Driver License or Identification Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Childrens’ Birth Certificates
  • Passport(s)
  • Social Security Card(s)
  • Green Card(s)
  • Visa Card



  • Cash
  • Credit cards (in your name) or credit card account number and customer service phone number
  • Checking and/or savings account numbers
  • Check book
  • Safety deposit box keys


Legal Papers

  • Restraining Order
  • Lease, rental agreement and/or house deed
  • Car registration, title and insurance papers
  • Health insurance card(s)
  • Life insurance papers
  • Medical records for you and your children
  • School records
  • Work permits
  • Divorce and custody papers
  • Marriage/Divorce license



  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Medications
  • House and car keys
  • Post office key
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Pictures and sentimental items
  • Address books
  • Extra clothes for you and your children
  • Diapers for infants
  • Toys and stuffed animals for your children
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Bottles or sippy cups
  • Pacifier for infants or toddlers
  • Computer/tablet


Emergency Numbers