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Family Violence Messages in a Minute - Safety Planning

What if someone remains in the home with the person who is hurting them? You can still have a discussion on safety planning and develop a plan to keep everyone as safe as possible if something happens.

In the video, I mentioned “getting” someone to agree on an emoji to send you if they need you to call the police. That was the wrong wording. You don’t want to get, force, or tell a primary victim what to do. It’s about making suggestions and having a discussion. I apologise for the misuse of words, but it’s important to point out.

At the very least, you could agree that if your friend or whānau member needs you to call the police, they will send you a banana emoji or something quick and easy for them to do. Below is some information to consider for preparing a crisis response.

Safety Plan - Crisis

To begin with, think about finding a sign, emoji, or safe word that your friend or whānau member can send you to signal they need you to call 111.

Have all the details Police might need written down and ready for when you call 111:

  • Full name of your friend or whānau member

  • Date of Birth (DOB)

  • Name and DOB of the person posing the risk, if possible

  • Address of their usual residence

  • Information about children in the home

  • Registration of vehicles

  • Current location of the person calling (this may differ from the usual address and is crucial for 111)

When you call, inform the Police that this is part of a safety plan for a friend at risk of family violence, and they need immediate help.

Safety Plan – Non-Crisis – Some Basic Ideas

Please ensure that whatever is done is only undertaken if it can be done safely.

  • Safe place: Locate a room in the house with a lock on it.

  • Escape: Identify accessible and safe windows or doors that can be used to leave the property if necessary.

  • Planned exit: Discuss a safe time to leave, which could be during a normal daily activity that won’t draw attention, such as dropping the children at school or kohanga, shopping, or a doctor’s appointment.

  • Preparation: Encourage your friend or whānau member to have a spare car key for emergencies and have the following packed and ready:

  • Identification

  • Birth certificates, passports, etc.

  • Bank cards

  • Phone charger

  • Dignity-enhancing products

  • Change of clothes for themselves and the kids

Maybe keep a packed bag at your house with critical items that might be needed.

  • Communication: Keep the phone charged and have a second one if safe to do so, in case one gets broken or lost.

  • Meeting place: Discuss a safe place to meet if they need you to meet up with them.

  • Travelling: If your friend or whānau member is calling you from a car and being followed, suggest they drive directly to a Police station. They don’t have to go in, but it is a safer place and may deter the predominant aggressor.

  • Research: Look into places that can offer support to your friend. Some agencies provide residential and community-based support services. Give them a call and discuss options (you can do this without disclosing names). Check out our extensive Support page - Where to Get Help | ECLIPSE.


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