Safety Planning

justice scales

CDVSA sponsors 20 victim service programs. Most victim service programs provide emergency shelter. Programs also provide community-based advocacy. In other words, a person does not need to be a shelter resident in order to receive services. Even though most programs are located in hub communities, all provide services to rural areas. Click on the link to service programs to find out more about what services are offered in your area and how to receive help from an advocate in making a safety plan.

Making a Safety Plan - If you are in an unsafe situation, making a safety plan is very important. Here are a few things to consider when making a safety plan. Local shelters have experts called advocates who can work with you. We encourage you to work with advocates at your local shelter to develop a safety plan for yourself and for your family.

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  1. If there is an argument, try to be in a place that has an exit and not in a bathroom, kitchen, or room that may contain weapons.
  2. Practice getting out of your home safely. Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell to use.
  3. Pack a bag and have it ready at a friendís or relativeís house.
  4. Identify one or more neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask them if they can call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
  5. Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
  6. Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home.
  7. Use your instincts and judgment. In a dangerous situation, give the abuser what he wants to calm him down.

REMEMBER: You don't deserve to be hit or threatened.

Safety When Preparing to Leave

  1. If possible, open a checking or savings account in your own name.
  2. Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes and medicines in a safe place or with someone you trust.
  3. Get your own post office box.
  4. Identify a safe place where you and your children can go or who can lend you money.
  5. Always keep the shelter phone number and some change or a calling card on you for emergency phone calls. If you have a cell phone, keep it with you (and charged) at all times.
  6. If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be cared for in a safe place. (Advocates can often help with this.)

REMEMBER: Leaving is often the most dangerous time.

Alaska driver's license

Checklist: What You Need To Take

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  • Driverís License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Childrenís Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
birth certificate
  • Money and/or credit cards (in your name)
  • Checking and/or savings account books

  • Protective Order
  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  • Car registration and insurance papers
  • Medical records for you and your children
  • Vaccination records
  • School records
  • Work permits/Green Card/Visa
  • Passport
  • Divorce and custody papers
  • keys
  • Marriage license

  • Medications
  • House and car keys
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Address book
  • Pictures and sentimental items
  • Change of clothes for you and your children

Safety With a Protective Order

  • If you or your children have been threatened or assaulted you can request a protective order from the court (an advocate can help with this).
  • Once you have obtained a protective order, always keep it with you.
  • Call the police if your partner breaks the protective order.
  • Inform family members, friends, neighbors and school personnel that you have a protective order in effect.
  • Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond immediately

Safety In Your Own Residence

mother and child
  1. If you stay in your home, lock your windows and change the locks on your doors as soon as possible.
  2. Develop a safety plan with your children for when you are not with them.
  3. Inform your childís school, day care, etc., about who has permission to pick up your child.
  4. Inform neighbors and the landlord that your partner no longer lives with you, and they should call the police if they see him near your home.
  5. Never call the abuser from your home; he may find out where you live. Never tell the abuser where you live.
  6. Request an unlisted/unpublished number from the telephone company.

Safety On The Job and In Public

  1. Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. Include the office building security. (If possible provide them with a picture of your batterer.)
  2. When at work, if possible, have someone screen your telephone calls.
  3. Have someone escort you to and from your car, bus, or home.
  4. If at all possible, use a variety of routes to come and go from home.

Support Groups

Shelter Programs throughout the state offer a wide variety of support groups for victims. Check with your local shelter to find out what support groups and support programs are available in your area.

What Is An Advocate


An advocate's job is to:

  • Listen to an individual and problem solve with them rather than for them;
  • Assist an individual in identifying abusive patterns and behaviors within their intimate relationship;
  • Offer victims information about their rights and discuss options;
  • Assist in developing a safety plan that is tailored to fit the needs of the individual;
  • Honor the decisions individuals make in regard to their immediate and long term safety;
  • Offer individuals and group support as well as community resource information and referrals.

All advocacy services at shelter programs throughout Alaska are confidential and free of charge.

What Is A Legal Advocate

Legal advocates are available to help women obtain a protective order, by providing women with the appropriate paperwork and accompanying women to protective order hearings. The legal advocate can also provide women with information about where to obtain child support/custody case paperwork.

Advocates are not lawyers, but may be able to help you obtain no or low cost legal services through ANDVSA's Pro Bono Program. For more information, please contact the victim service program in your area and ask to speak to their legal advocate.

Legal Advocacy Resources

Click on the links below or call the phone numbers listed for more information.