Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc. 
(Keep this plan in a safe place - a family member or friend's home)

I can get help

  • I can tell __________ about the violence and request they call the police if they hear noises coming from my home.
  • I can teach my children how to contact the police. I will make sure they know our address and telephone number.
  • I can teach my children how to go to a __________ (e.g., neighbor, business, etc.) for help if it is not possible to use the telephone.
  • If I have a programmable phone, I can program emergency numbers and teach my children how to use the auto dial.

I can use my judgment

  • When I expect my partner and I are going to argue, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as __________. (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons or in rooms without an outside exit.)
  • I can also teach some of these strategies to some/all of my children, as appropriate.

I can leave

  • If I decide to leave, I will ____________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, elevators, stairwells or fire escapes would you use?)
  • I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them ___________ to leave quickly.
  • I will leave money and an extra set of keys with ___________ so I can leave quickly.
  • I will keep copies of important documents or keys at ____________.
  • If I have to leave home, I will go ____________. If I cannot go to the above location, I can go to ____________.
  • The VRC domestic violence hotline numbers are 1-866-343-8808 or 1-800-456-1172. I can call it if I need shelter or information.
  • If it’s not safe to talk openly, I will use __________ as the code word/signal to my children that we are going to go, and/or to my family, friends, or trusted coworkers that we are coming.
  • I will use ___________ as my code word with my children or my friends so they will call for help.

Planning to Leave

  • I will call the VRC (domestic, sexual, stalking, family violence, and child abuse services agency) and get help making my plans. The hotline number is 1-866-343-8808 or 1-800-456-1172.
  • I will leave money and an extra set of keys with ___________ so I can leave quickly.
  • I will keep copies of important documents or keys at ___________.
  • I can leave extra clothes for our family with ____________.
  • I will keep important numbers and change for phone calls with me at all times. Since my partner can learn who I have been talking to by looking at phone bills, emails, or on my cell phone, I can see if friends will let me use their phones and/or phone credit cards or computers.
  • I can leave my pets with ___________.
  • I will check with ___________ and ____________ to see who would be able to let me stay with them or lend me some money.
  • I can increase my independence by opening a bank account and getting credit cards in my own name; taking classes or getting job skills; getting copies of all the important papers and documents I might need and keeping them with ___________.
  • Other things I can do to increase my independence include: _____________________________________________________________________.
  • I can rehearse my escape plan and, if appropriate, practice it with my children.

After I Leave

  • I can call the VRC at (315) 331-1171 regarding assistance with an order of protection.
  • I can change the locks on my doors and windows.
  • I can replace wooden doors with steel/metal doors.
  • I can install security systems including additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, and electronic monitoring system, etc.
  • I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape from second floor windows.
  • I can install smoke detectors and put fire extinguishers on each floor in my home.
  • I will teach my children how to use the phone to make a collect call to me if they are concerned about their safety.
  • I can tell people who take care of my children, including their school, which people have permission to pick them up and make sure they know how to recognize those people.
  • I will give the people who take care of my children, including their school, copies of custody and protective orders, and emergency numbers.
  • I will never go alone to drop off or pick up the children for visitation. If I cannot find someone to go with me, I will meet my ex-partner in the building of a public place like McDonald’s or Wal-Mart. I will be careful when leaving to make sure my ex-partner is not watching me or following me.

At Work and in Public

  • I can inform my boss, the security supervisor and/or Employee Assistance Program about my situation. My workplace EAP number is _____________.
  • My workplace security office number is ____________.
  • I can ask ___________ to screen my calls.
  • When leaving work, I can _______________________.
  • When traveling to and from work, I can vary my route. If there’s trouble, I can __________________.
  • I can change my patterns – avoid stores, banks, doctor’s appointments, Laundromats, and ____________ places where my partner might find me.
  • I can tell _________ and __________ that I am no longer with my partner and ask them to call the police if they believe my children are or I am in danger.

With an Order of Protection

  • I will keep my order of protection __________. (Always keep it on or near your person.)
  • I will give copies of my order of protection to local police and communities where I visit families/friends.
  • I will give copies to my employer, my religious advisor, friends, children’s school/daycare and _____________________________________________________.
  • If my partner destroys my order of protection, I can call the police and report the violation, contact my attorney, advocate, and/or advise the court of the violation. I can call the VRC for help at (315) 331-1171.

Items to Take When Leaving

¬ Identification for myself and my children including birth certificates, social security cards, & school records
¬ Money, checkbook, bank books, ATM cards, tax returns, credit cards
¬ Medication
¬ Keys for your house, car, office, driver’s license, car registration and insurance, and all other insurance papers
¬ Public Assistance ID/Medicaid cards, passports, green cards, work permits
¬ Divorce or separation papers, custody papers, lease, rental agreement or house deed
¬ Car/mortgage payment books and MY PERSONALIZED SAFETY PLAN
¬ Children’s toys, security blankets, stuffed animals, sentimental items, photos

My Emotional Health and the Emotional Health of My Children

  • If I am feeling down, lonely or confused, I can call __________ or the VRC hotline at 1-866-343-8808.
  • I can take care of our physical health needs by getting checkups for our family. If I don’t have a doctor I can call the local hospital for a referral.
  • If I have concerns about my children’s health and well-being, I can call ______.
  • If I have left my partner and am considering return, I will call __________ or spend time with __________ before making a decision.
  • I will remind myself daily that my family deserves to live a life free from abuse.
  • My best qualities are: _________________________________________________________________.
  • I can attend support groups, workshops, or classes at the VRC and call (315) 331-1171 in order to build a support system, learn skills or get information.
  • I will look at how and when I drink alcohol or use other drugs and if I need help with this I can call __________________________________________________________.
  • Other things I can do to feel stronger are: _______________________________________________.

v Thank you to NYSOPDV v


The Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc. is grateful for its collaboration with the Wayne County Humane Society for victims of domestic violence with pets. Thank you also to Lollipop Farm for boarding pets for victims.  Pets are not allowed in the domestic violence shelter, and the Humane Society works with our agency to house small pets during the transition from an emergency shelter to your new home.  If you can leave with your pet, try to leave with the pet's medication; collar with identification; vaccination and medical records; carriers for transportation; proof of ownership, feeding schedule, habits and behaviors; and food, bowls, grooming supplies, and toys.  If you cannot leave with your pet, work with the VRC and/or the police to escort you to reclaim your pet.  Do not go to your home alone without an escort or without notifying the police.  If you live in another county in New York, or another state, contact your local domestic violence program if you have a concern regarding leaving your pets behind when you leave the domestic violence situation.  Many of the domestic violence programs work with animal shelters and the humane society in their community.
Pets Covered in Orders of Protection (S.7691 Padavan / A.10767-A Rosenthal) (New York State)
Allows protection of companion animals to be added to an order of protection issued in a criminal court or Family Court. Requires the respondent to refrain from intentionally injuring or killing any companion animal the respondent knows to be owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner or a minor child living in the household. Companion animals/pets are defined as a dog, cat or any other domesticated animal that lives in or near the household, but does not include farm animals.
SIGNED: Chapter 253
EFFECTIVE: July 26, 2006
Order of Protection/Pets  (A.8855-A Rosenthal / S.4541-A Kruger) (New York State)
Amends the 2006 law that authorized the inclusion of companion animals or pets in criminal or family court orders of protection to now include orders issued in Supreme Court matrimonial cases.  In addition, the new law changes the language referring to “petitioner” to read “the person protected by the order” in orders of protection issued under sections of the Family Court Act where the government or prosecutor, rather than the victim, petitions the court (i.e., child support, juvenile delinquency, etc.).
EFFECTIVE:   July 6, 2008                 Chapter 532