Outside of a safe place to stay, safety planning is one of the most important services that we provide at the shelter. Studies show that abusers violent behavior escalates when the victim of domestic violence attempts to leave the violence in their home. 77% of domestic violence-related homicides occur upon separation and there is a 75% increase in violence upon separation for at least two years according to Battered Women’s Support Services.
When a victim of domestic violence contacts our crisis line, they may be preparing to leave, are ready to leave, or they are calling from their vehicle looking for a safe place to stay. In each of these situations, the staff provide safety planning specific to their individual situation. The staff are special trained to provide safety planning that will not place the victim of domestic violence in harms way and to explore with them the best way to seek safety. Safety planning also includes what they may need while they are in shelter that will make it easier for them to transition out of the shelter and onto their next location.
While in the shelter, safety planning is occurring on a regular basis. Every time a resident leaves the shelter safety planning is provided so they remain safe while they are out in the community attempting to get necessary services, employment, childcare and their own home.