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Safety plan for a situation of violence or its threat at home

Everyone, who lives in conditions, where the threat of violence seems possible, should stop and think about their own and their children’s safety. Some things that are good to think about in advance and take into account in case of a situation of violence have been listed below.

Plan in advance:

  • Think about how you could determine, if someone is going to be violent, for example, more frequent breathing, pulling hands up in to fists, expressions or gestures.
  • Come up with an explanation, which you can use to go to safety: for example, a routine such as taking the rubbish out, walking the dog, etc., for which reason you normally go outside on a regular basis.
  • Plan a safe and quick way out – what doors and/or windows can you use. Leave the premises as soon as you feel at threat, do not wait for the situation to escalate.
  • If it is not possible, have a safe place in mind, where you can escape to. Avoid the bathroom, which has no way out or the kitchen, where there are bladed weapons easily available.
  • Keep you phone charged and accessible.
  • Keep your wallet, spare keys and bag in such a way that they are easy to take with you in an escape situation. It is good to have e.g. money, change of clothes, important phone numbers on paper, a prepaid card and spare phone, and essential medication in your bag.
  • Tell about the threat of violence to a reliable person and e.g. Victim Support Finland.
  • Also tell your neighbour, if possible. Agree with him/her on a procedure in case of a possible situation of violence. For example, ask him/her to call for help, if he/she hears sounds of violence from your home. Agree on a code word with him/her, which is a sign to call for help. For example, if your relative calls and “cancels going for a walk” – you know that help is urgently needed.
  • If you are hit, protect your head and stomach by leaning over and using your hands as protection. Shout loudly!

If you have children:

  • Discuss with your children about violence and what to do in an emergency!
  • Teach your children to call the emergency number (112) if necessary.
  • Always take the children with you, if possible.
  • If you cannot take the children with you, explain to them that you will come and get them later.

Store in your phone and on a separate piece of paper in your safety bag:

  • The emergency phone number
  • The shelter home’s phone number
  • Your own phone number
  • Phone numbers of people who are important to you