Making a Safety Plan

Remember – Restrictions on movement do not apply to a person escaping from a risk of harm or seeking to access essential services

Services to help you

You may need to leave your home during this period. Leaving a domestic abuse situation can be the most dangerous time for the victim so it is important you consider putting a plan in place. Every situation is different and you will be the best judge of what is best for you. There are services who can help you make this plan. Details of how you can contact them are here. There are a number of ways you can contact them if it is difficult to talk on the phone during this time.

In addition, An Garda Síochána, The Courts and The Legal Aid Board have all increased measures to support victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Making a Plan – Follow these four steps

  1. Think ahead and be prepared
  • Is there a relative, friend or neighbour you trust? If so, think about telling them what is going on as you may need them in an emergency. Discus this matter with them as part of your safety plan.
  • Think in advance about times when there may still be opportunities to leave during this confined time, for example when your abuser is asleep or in the shower.
  1. Prepare an emergency bag
  • Prepare a bag for you and your children. You may need to pack enough clothes to last a couple of days.
  • Include an extra set of house and car keys, money, a list of phone numbers you may need. Try to hide this bag. Or store it with a trusted relative, friend or neighbour, if it is safe to do so.
  • Remember to store and pack important personal documents concerning you and your children such as your passports, driving licence, marriage and birth certificates, PPS numbers, medical cards, address book, bank books, cheque books, credit cards, court orders and any other legal and financial documents
  • Pack any medicine you or your children might need.
  • Pack some of your children’s favourite toys/or sentimental possessions.
  1. Make sure you can access a phone and emergency numbers.
  • Keep your mobile phone with you at all times. Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone if you don’t have access to a mobile. This could be a public payphone, or one at a neighbour’s, friend’s or relative’s house.
  • Write out a list of numbers you will need in an emergency. Include friends, relatives, An Garda Síochána, GP, your local domestic violence service, and your nearest refuge. Remember, even if you have numbers stored in your mobile you may not be able to access or use it, so copy out all numbers you might need. Keep this list with you at all times
  • Keep a small amount of money with you at all times for phone calls and/or taxi, train or bus fares etc. Public transport is still operating to a limited extent.
  1. Know what you can tell your children.
  • If your children are old enough to understand, explain that you might have to leave in a hurry and make sure they know what to do if that happens. You could consider arranging a meeting point should you get separated from them
  • Teach your children to dial 999 or 112 if there is an emergency. Make sure they know what they will need to say: name, address and telephone number.
  1. Stay as safe as you can within your home
  • Be aware of your safety in every room in your home. Know how you can get to exit routes out of the house quickly and safely.

The most important thing for you to know is you are not alone. A wide range of measures have been put together by State agencies and frontline services in your community to help you during this troubling period.