“The first step to safety is action.”


If you need to escape an abusive relationship, call us at 214-941-1991. If you are in immediate danger call 911.

The Family Place is here to empower you to escape from family violence and become a survivor. Whether the abuse you suffer is physical, emotional, verbal or financial, we provide a safe place to heal and the counseling and resources you need to start down the path to independence. All services are free and offered in English and in Spanish. For a full list of our services click here

Have a Plan for Safety

A safety plan is a personalized plan of safety measures for anyone in an abusive relationship, leaving an abusive relationship, or maintaining safety after an abusive relationship.  Safety planning can include physical safety, as well as the safety of children, pets, and even your own emotions. Having an established plan can help prepare you for various scenarios and help guide you in stressful situations.

Below are a few suggestions to begin working toward safety.

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area that has access to an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.
  • Practice how to get out of your home safely.  Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best.
  • Have a packed bag ready and keep it in an undisclosed but accessible place in order to leave quickly.
  • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home. 
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to).
  • Use your own instincts and judgment.  If the situation is very dangerous, consider giving the abuser what he wants to calm him down.  You have the right to protect yourself until you are out of danger.

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  • Open a savings account in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence.  Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence. 
  • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.
  • Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
  • Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. 
  • Discuss a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform your child’s school, daycare, etc., about who has permission to pick up your child. 
  • Keep the shelter phone number close at hand and keep some change, a calling card or a cell phone on you at all times for emergency phone calls. 

What to take when you leave

  • Identification
  • Driver’s license
  • Child’s birth certificate
  •  Your birth certificate
  • Money, Credit/debit cards
  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  • Bank books
  • Checkbooks
  • Insurance papers
  • House and car keys
  • Medications
  • Small sellable objects
  • Address book
  • Pictures
  • Medical records (all family members)
  • Social security card
  • Public assistance information
  • School records
  • Work permits
  • Green card
  • Passport
  • Divorce papers
  • Jewelry
  • Toys for child(ren)

Other safety options to consider are protective orders, safety at your workplace and in public, tech and social media safety and your emotional heath. Our counselors can help you develop a specialized safety plan and offer a safe place to process your options wherever you may be in your relationship. Call our 24-hour hotline at 214-941-1991 to see how we can help you.