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Safety & Planning

It’s important to make a plan to keep you and your children safe. Shelters near you can help.

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to support your safety while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. It needs to change as your circumstances change.

Women’s shelters safety plan with survivors, friends, family members, and anyone who is concerned about their own safety or the safety of someone else.


Locate a Shelter

You don't need to stay in a shelter to get help from one. Shelters can help you in person or over the phone.

Find a Shelter

How to Call for Help Safely

A partner can often tell when a woman makes up her mind to stop the abuse. Do not underestimate your partner. Make sure your phone calls don’t leave tracks.

Internet-based telephones, which also go by names like “VOIP”, or “Network Telephony”, keep records of all calls. Web-based telephone systems, such as “Skype”, also keep records.

Cell phones can also keep records of the numbers that have been called.

A local call made on a regular telephone line will not produce a record of the call. However, many telephones have a “redial” button, and you may want to call a friend or other “safe” number after you make any call you don’t want your partner to know about – they could check up on you just by pressing “redial”.

One way to be sure your home telephone uses a regular telephone line is to check your telephone bill. It will come from a telephone company, such as Bell or Rogers. It will not list any local numbers, only long distance. If you still aren’t sure, proceed with extra caution.

The safest way to call or to receive calls from a shelter is from a friend’s phone, a public phone, a work phone, or any telephone that has nothing to do with your partner.

If you are in danger, call 911.

Cover Your Tracks

Quick Exit button – What is this?

If you click on this button it will immediately take you away from the ACWS site. If you are using a computer in a public place, or somewhere that someone might see what website you are visiting, you can use this button to hide what you are doing quickly.

Keep Yourself Safe While Getting the Information You Need

It’s essential that you keep yourself and your children safe while getting the information you will need to make a smooth transition to a violence-free life. When an abusive partner discovers that the victim is obtaining resources, learning that domestic violence is wrong, threatening to leave, or planning a getaway, the abuse can and most often does increase. Please follow these basic guidelines listed here.

  • DO NOT save this address as a bookmark on your browser (the software that allows you to access the internet). Write the address down and hide it where you know your partner will not find it. You may want to write this address in such a way that your partner will not know what it is. You can also memorize the address.
  • Locate and clear web browser histories on your hard drive. The information in these files is created when visiting web sites. Delete the information in these files. Most often the contents of these files are only computer jargon, but there is a possibility that the websites you have visited can be traced from these files. Every browser will create and store this information differently.