People who don’t always feel safe at home often make the choice to create something called a Safety Plan.
A Safety Plan helps you be prepared and know what to do if there is danger, much like a Fire Safety Plan at school prepares teachers and kids to know what to do in case there is a fire.
If there is violence or abuse in your family, it’s a good idea to make a Safety Plan. A Safety Plan is a written plan that will prepare you and help you know what to do when there is danger in your home.
It’s like a Fire Safety Plan at school, which prepares teachers and kids to know what to do in case there is a fire. Except instead of fire, you’re planning what you will do if there is violence and instead of it being for school, it’s for your home.
Why do I need a safety plan?
Some of the signs that you should create a Safety Plan include:
- If your parents fight often (at least once a week)
- If your parents fight very badly (a lot of screaming / throwing things / crying / fear)
- If people or pets are getting hit, kicked, pushed or hurt
- If someone is breaking furniture, smashing walls, throwing things
- If someone is in danger of getting hurt
- If anyone in your family seems afraid
- If anyone threatens to hurt someone else
You should use your Safety Plan whenever you think or feel that you or anyone in your family is being hurt or about to get hurt in the ways above. If there is a fight, do not try to stop the fight yourself! Never get in the middle of a fight! The best way you can help someone is by calling someone else to come and help.
Getting in the middle of the fighting could be dangerous for you and for other people in your family. It’s natural that you want the fighting to stop, but it’s safer for you and your mum or the person being hurt if you do not get involved, and call for help.
Before you start making your safety plan, make sure you know exactly what to say if you need to call the police. Fill out the blanks below Call 000, the operator will answer: ““POLICE, FIRE, AMBULANCE”. Then you say “POLICE!” My name is ________________________. I am _____ years old. I need help. Send the police. Someone is hurting my mom. The address here is _____________________________________. The phone number here is ___________________________. REMEMBER DON’T HANG UP!
Can you do safety planning together with your brother/sister? Your brother / sister might have a completely different idea of what’s happening at home than you, they might even disagree with how you think about it.
That’s okay and totally normal, even in the same home and family, kids will see and hear things differently. It’s pretty normal if you haven’t even talked about it much before with your brother / sister. It’s a good idea to try to talk to your brother / sister about what’s happening at home and think about whether you might want to do your safety planning together.