Situations that are difficult or frightening force us to think on our feet or think outside of the box to stay safe. It is during those tough, defining moments that the brain works in different and clever ways.
Often our calls at The Hotline include safety planning. Safety planning is what it sounds like: developing strategies and ideas to keep you safe, no matter where you are in your relationship.
These plans differ for everyone. What works for one person might not be the best option for someone else.
Thankfully, our advocates are smart and intuitive and so are you. They’ll brainstorm with you to consider tactics that could work best, exploring options for both your immediate and long-term safety.
Sometimes our advocates have to get extra creative to keep someone safe. Here are some ingenious safety planning strategies that advocates have suggested to callers in the past:
- Do you need a place to stay overnight and other options aren’t lining up? Some emergency rooms may let you stay the night.
- If you have a car and are out of options for places to stay, most Walmart parking lots let you park your car overnight.
- If your partner is very controlling about money/checks/receipts, think about ways you can save very small amounts of money. Purchase small items like bottles of shampoo and then return them. Some purchases made with a debit card allow you to get cash back from your returns.
- Trying to hide away some money? Consider sneaking money into a tampon box or some place your partner wouldn’t think to look.
- If your partner is calling multiple times, let it go to voicemail. Threatening voicemails can become evidence if you decide to file for a protective order.
- If you’re relocating somewhere and you need money for a bus ticket, ask different family members for a specific amount (ex. Can I borrow $10 for a bus ticket?) Sometimes it’s easier for people to grapple with an amount as opposed to just hearing “I need money.”
- Occasionally Megabus and other bus services offer inexpensive ticket deals. Megabus offers some long-distance travel deals for as low as $1
- If you lack money, internet and other resources and need to buy a ticket to leave, see if someone can go online, buy you a ticket and give you the confirmation number.
- If you get a raise at work, ask your boss to have the amount of the raise directly deposited into a separate account at the bank that the abusive partner doesn’t know about.
These safety planning techniques may not work for everyone — and you are the expert on your situation. If you want to develop creative solutions to help stay safe in an abusive relationship, call us at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) to speak with an advocate.
Do you have any unique safety planning tips?