Rape Crisis: Have a Safety Plan

Individuals whose partner subjects them to sexual abuse and rape face a very real risk of suffering additional physical and emotional harm. In many situations, leaving the abusive individual is your best option, especially if you fear that your partner’s violent actions could escalate even further.

Leaving an abusive partner can be extremely hard, and should not be undertaken lightly. Your rape crisis plan needs to account for several important factors to ensure that you and your children can reach safety.

Know Who Can Help: Your first step to safety is determining who can provide the help you need. This could include a close friend or neighbor, a family member, or a rape crisis hotline counselor. Confiding in these individuals can help you come up with a plan to leave, or ensure that you have necessary transportation and other resources. Remember, in an emergency, you should dial 911.

Know Where to Go: You will need to determine where to go and how you will get there. Planning multiple escape routes from your home can help you get away during a rape crisis situation. Ideally, you should also figure out how you can get to an emergency shelter or police station so you can get to safety at any time. If you have children, make sure they know what to do and where to go during an emergency.

Know What to Bring: There are many important items you will need when leaving a dangerous relationship, including credit cards, IDs, medical records, and other important legal documents. In addition, snacks, medications, and extra clothing may also be necessary. Your rape crisis hotline counselor can help you figure out where and how to store these and other essential items.