Safety Planning for Children

Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Reassure them that the violence is not their fault. When violence of any sort is taking place, their only job is to try to keep safe and tell what happened.

  • Teach your children their own safety plan including not intervening in the violence between you and your partner. 
  • Practice with the children how to phone for help and what they will say. Ensure they know their full name, phone number and address.
  • Have a code word that will tell your children when to call 911, in an emergency situation.
  • If you want them to leave the home during a violent incident, plan with them where they will go and the safest way of getting there.  Also plan what to do if the designated neighbour/friend is not home.
  • Make sure children are escorted to school, their bus stop or daycare.
  • Make sure that schools, day cares, after school programs, and police have a copy of all court orders including restraining orders, custody and access orders, as well as a picture of the abusive partner.
  • Tell your child’s caregiver who is allowed to pick up your children. Try to keep this to a small number to ensure less confusion.
  • Make sure your children know who is picking them up from school, daycare, etc.  Teach them not to go with anyone unless you tell them to do so yourself, and arrange a code word in case prior communication is not possible.
  • Teach your children how to make a collect call to you and to a trusted friend, in case your partner takes the children.
  • Teach your children how to use a cellular phone.
  • Teach your children NOT to open the door to ANYONE, (including family members and people they know) and to tell you when someone is there.
  • Install a low peep hole in the door so that children can see who is there.
  • Practice and role play safety plans with your children and talk to your children about scenarios so that they know how to react.