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77% of domestic violence related homicides occur at the time of separation; the risk remains elevated for two years.** Reduce the risk by writing a safety plan. Memorize and practice it.

Safety planning can save your life. Safety planning can save your children's lives.

Safety Planning Checklist

Be sure to have:

  • A location to go to quickly, if needed
  • A trusted person you can tell – know their phone number and create a code word in case of emergency
  • Necessary items if you leave (ID, keys, fuel in your vehicle, medication, phone/charger, vital records, money/credit cards, etc.)
  • A location your children can go if you need to leave quickly. Teach them how to hide in a safe place and how to call 911 (even from a locked phone)
  • A location for your pets to go and all of their necessities (boarding, food, medicine, etc.)

Don’t forget to:

  • Change passwords to accounts such as social media or other things your partner may have access to
  • File for Personal Protection Order (PPO)
  • Change locks, install cameras/motion lights, etc.
  • Know local resources to contact for help

Increased Risk Factors***

  • Increased violence
  • Gun(s) present
  • Following/spying on you
  • Unemployment or a job demotion
  • Forced sex
  • Control over daily activities
  • Jealousy behaviors and statements
  • Threats of suicide/homicide
  • History of antisocial behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Cruelty to animals

***a batterer may be lethal without demonstrating any of these factors.



If you or someone you know has questions about domestic violence, or needs help/resources, contact a local agency such as 911, Sylvia’s Place or Resilience. Contacting is free and confidential.

*thehotline.org, **bwss.org, ***Allegan County Sheriff’s Office