Safety Plans and Statistics
- In 92% of all domestic violence incidents, crimes are committed by men against women.
- Women are more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner. In 2000, intimate partner homicides accounted for 33.5% of the murders of women and less than 4% of the murders of men.
- Women are fourteen more times likely than men to report suffering severe physical assaults from an intimate partner.
- In 1996, among all female murder victims in the U.S., 30% were slain by their husbands or boyfriends.
- Of women who reported being raped and/or physically assaulted since the age of 18, three quarters (76%) were victimized by a current or former husband, co-habitating partner, date or boyfriend.
- Violence by an intimate partner accounts for approximately 21% of violent crime experienced by women and approximately 2% of the violence experienced by men.
(Prevalence Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, November, 1998; Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001; Uniform Crime Reports of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1996; Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, U.S. Department of Justice, March, 1998.)
When violence has occurred once in any relationship, the probability is high that it will reoccur. However, victims who stay in the relationship can exercise some control of future consequences by thinking ahead. Anticipating the batterer's actions and making appropriate and detailed decisions in advance can help ensure the safety of the victim and children.
Have a Safety Plan
Some components of an effective Safety Plan are outlined below. Beyond the direct benefits of having a Safety Plan, the process of developing one may help clarify the reality of the victim's danger. Even if you can't complete all details, you'll find a preliminary plan to be very helpful.
Safety during a violent incident
- Can you get out of the house if you need to?
- Are the car keys and money easy to grab?
- How can your children be safe? Should they leave when they hear or see violence, and if so, where should they go?
- Does someone (the kids? a neighbor?) know when to call the police (911)?
- Where is the safest place in the house to be during an argument (away from weapons, or where you might be trapped)? Locate this place.
- Practice these answers for yourself and with your children.
Safety if you have time for planning to leave
- Where can you go -- for a little while or indefinitely?
- Where can you keep money, phone numbers, important papers, clothes, an extra set of keys?
- Who can you talk to or call for help -- friends, relatives, domestic violence hotline? Have these phone numbers written down and readily accessible.
- Think about what to tell your children and when; you may have to limit the amount of information you share in the beginning so their own safety is not jeopardized.
Safety in your house when the batterer does not reside with you
- Change locks, reinforce doors and windows, make sure smoke alarms are working.
- If you've recently separated, see if someone can stay with you for awhile.
- Talk to the children, babysitters and neighbors about when to call the police.
- Keep important phone numbers taped by the phone.
- Important: notify family members, school, and place of worship that you're living apart and that children are not to go with your partner.
- Check in regularly with someone and arrange the steps they should take if you don't call.
Safety on the job, at school and in public
- Tell your boss, security officer and friends at work what's going on.
- Notify your children's school personnel and teacher(s) about what is going on.
- See if someone can screen your phone calls.
- Explore changes in your work schedule and the way you travel to work.
- Consider changing your shopping and other scheduled routines.
- Plan where you will go if the batterer follows you in your car -- to a police station? a friend's house?
Safety Through Court Orders
- Protection Orders, Anti-Harassment Orders, No Contact Orders
- Protection Orders (King County) (206) 296-9547
- Give copies to school, child care, your work.
- Give a copy to a relative or friend to keep for you.
- Call police whenever the order is violated -- it's a crime.
Take care of yourself
Try to get enough sleep, eat regularly, don't panic. It's okay to need help and most people will feel good about being able to help you. Keeping in touch with someone you can talk to, a friend or relative who supports you or a domestic violence hotline or support group can really help.
New Beginnings (206) 522-9472
Eastside Domestic Violence Program (425) 746-1940
D.A.W.N. (Domestic Abused Women's Network) (425) 656-7867
Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 562-6025