- Safety planning is thinking about things you can do to be safer when living with violence or abuse
- The best way to make a safety plan is with the help of a support service
- Trusted friends and family members can also play a role, as well as advocates for older people and people with disability
- If you would like support with making a safety plan, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or through our online chat service.
What is safety planning?
You can make a simple safety plan for yourself, with help from a friend or someone in your family. You can also contact a support service for help making a detailed safety plan. Every plan is different as every person has different needs. It’s a good idea to create a new safety plan as things change, for example if you move house or leave your relationship.
If you are making a safety plan for yourself, you will already have good ideas about things you can do when you feel unsafe. These might be as simple as contacting a friend when there is violence where you live. You can start your safety plan by writing these ideas down. Keep your plan somewhere that no one else will see it. You might choose to share your safety plan with a friend or other support person. Let them know you may be calling them if you feel unsafe at home.
Support services can help you think about actions you can take when you feel unsafe. Contacting a support service to make a safety plan is the best place to start if you are living with sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
Staying safe does not mean changing your behaviour so that someone doesn’t get angry. You are never responsible for another person’s violence.
How can I support someone with safety planning?
For someone living with violence or abuse, having the support of a friend or family member can be one of the best ways to increase safety. If you are a support person, start by listening. The other person knows their own situation best and will be able to tell you about things they are already doing to keep safe. Remember not to judge or make decisions for them. 'Just leaving' is not always a safe option. In fact immediately after a separation is the time of greatest risk of violence. Work with the person you are supporting to make a plan that meets their needs.
Support services, like 1800RESPECT, are also available to help family and friends as well as workers supporting someone affected by violence.
To learn more about making a safety plan, watch the below video 'How to make a plan to look after yourself'.
Paid family and domestic violence leave
The Australian Government has implemented 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave to help employees experiencing domestic and family violence.
From 1 February 2023, employees of non-small business employers can access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12 month period. Employees of small businesses can access the leave from 1 August 2023.
For more information visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website and speak with your employer to understand how you can access the paid family and domestic violence leave.
For domestic and family violence awareness training and workshop options as an employer, please contact DV-alert.
1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you need support, we encourage you to call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or use the chat function on the website.
Safety planning is a way to work on increasing safety when you are experiencing domestic and family violence. Domestic and family violence can include: physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual violence, psychological abuse, financial abuse and threatening harm to your loved ones, children and pets. This video talks through options for making a plan to look after yourself.