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U S Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.govOffice of Public Health and Science - The Federal Source for Women's Health Information Sponsored by the H H S Office on Women's Health
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Violence Against Women

Safety Planning List

Here are some helpful items to get together when you are planning on leaving an abusive situation. Keep these items in a safe place until you are ready to leave, or if you need to leave suddenly. If you have children, take them. And take your pets, too (if you can).

This list is also available as a PDF: adobe acrobat icon SafetyPlanningList.pdf (76 Kb)

Identification for yourself and your children

  • birth certificates
  • social security cards (or numbers written on paper if you can't find the cards)
  • driver's license
  • photo identification or passports
  • welfare identification
  • green card

Important personal papers

  • marriage certificate
  • divorce papers
  • custody orders
  • legal protection or restraining orders
  • health insurance papers and medical cards
  • medical records for all family members
  • children's school records
  • investment papers/records and account numbers
  • work permits
  • immigration papers
  • rental agreement/lease or house deed
  • car title, registration, and insurance information


  • cash
  • credit cards
  • ATM card
  • checkbook and bankbook (with deposit slips)
Picture of woman talking on a pay phone and holding her head


  • house
  • car
  • safety deposit box or post office box

A way to communicate

  • phone calling card
  • cell phone
  • address book


  • at least 1 month's supply for all medicines you and your children are taking, as well as a copy of the prescriptions

A way to get by

  • jewelry or small objects you can sell if you run out of money or stop having access to your accounts

Things to help you cope

  • pictures
  • keepsakes
  • children's small toys or books

If you're a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. Get immediate help and support.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect women to shelters and can send out written information.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-656-4673. When you call, you will hear a menu and can choose #1 to talk to a counselor. You will then be connected to a counselor in your area who can help you. You can also visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

Content last updated September 1, 2007.

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