Learn more about domestic violence
Everyone deserves to be safe
What Sojourn can offer you
Scope of the problem
safety tips and helping friends
Make a difference volunteer
Your friend, family, or co-worker
Steps to remain safe anywhere
Other Domestic Violence resources


  A safety plan is a tool that has worked for others, and it can be help you think in practical ways about your safety. If you have questions about any of this information or about your own situation, please call us at 217.726.5200. This service is free and confidential.

Safety During an Explosive Incident

  • The most dangerous places in the home are the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom.
  • During the argument, look for the safest way to get out.   Identify which doors, windows, elevator, or stairwell would be best.
  • Devise a code word to use with your children, family, or friends when you need the police.
  • Decide and plan for where you will go if you need to leave quickly.
  • Use your own instincts and judgement.
  • You don't deserve to be hit or threatened!!!

Safety When Preparing to Leave    Click here to view a checklist

  • Open a savings account and/or credit card in your own name to start to establish your independence.
  • Get your own post office box.  You can privately receive checks and letters.
  • Keep an extra set of keys, important documents, and money in a hidden spot so you can leave immediately.
  • Determine where you will go if you have to leave without notice.
  • Keep the shelter or hotline phone number on hand.
  • Leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.  Review your plan often in order to stay safe.

Safety in Your Own Home

  • Change the locks on the doors and secure the windows as soon as possible.
  • Discuss safety with your children for when you are not with them.
  • Inform your children's school, daycare, etc., about who has permission to pick up your children.
  • Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see him/her near your home.

Safety With an Order of Protection

  • Keep your order of protection on you at all times.
  • Call the police if your partner breaks the order of protection.
  • Think of an alternate ways to stay safe if the police do not respond right away.
  • Inform family, friends, neighbors, and your physician or health care provider that you have an order of protection in effect.

Safety on the Job

  • Decide who at work you will inform of your situation.
  • Devise a safety plan for when you leave work (i.e. someone escorting you to your car or taking different routes home)
  • Arrange to have a trusted co-worker screen your calls.

Your Safety and Emotional Health

  • If you return to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
  • If you must communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so.
  • Fulfill your needs and do things that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Determine who can give you the support you need.
  • Try to attend support groups for victims of domestic violence to learn more about yourself and the relationship.

For Teens in a Violent Relationship

  • Decide who you can confide in about the abuse.
  • Call the Sojourn Hotline.  They will listen and help and find you options.
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