We’ve undertaken a new program lately, geared towards helping high risk victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and harassment and elder abuse. It’s a fairly intrusive type of program, so certainly not for everyone. For some though, it’s an avenue to help them feel supported so that they can begin to take the steps needed to create the life they are looking for, minus whatever abuse that they might have previously experienced.
There are many pieces to the program, safety planning being an important one.
It’s important to keep in mind that you do not have control over another person’s level of violence. If you are being subjected to some form of abuse, creating a safety plan may help you to prepare for the possibility of future violence and hopefully help you protect yourself and your children.
Safety plans are information that’s specifically geared towards actions you can take, for yourself and / or your dependents. Risk factors change and that means safety plans also need to change sometimes.
The presence of any or all of the following factors may indicate that you and your children are at increased risk of serious physical harm.
- an actual or pending separation
- a history of domestic violence
- obsessive behaviour displayed by the abuser
- depression (abuser)
- a sense of fear (victim)
- prior threats / attempts to commit suicide (abuser)
- prior threats to kill the victim
- prior attempts to isolate the victim
- control of most or all of the victim’s daily activities
- an actual or perceived new partner in the victim’s life
- a history of violence outside of the family (abuser)
- prior threats with a weapon
- prior assault with a weapon
- prior hostage-taking and / or forcible confinement
- prior forced sexual acts and / or assaults during sex
- child custody or access disputes
- prior destruction or deprivation of victim’s property
- prior violence against family pets
- prior assault on the victim while pregnant
- choked / strangled victim in the past
- abuser was a witness to domestic violence and / or abused as a child
- an escalation of violence
- abuser unemployed
- victim and abuser living common-law
- presence of stepchildren in the home
- extreme minimization and / or denial of spousal assault history
- excessive alcohol and / or drug use (abuser)
- mental health or psychiatric problems (abuser)
- failure to comply with authorities (abuser)
- abuser witnessed or was exposed to suicidal behaviour in their family growing up
- abuser had access to the victim after a formal risk assessment
- sexual jealousy (abuser)
- traditional and / or chauvinistic attitudes (abuser)
- large age difference between partners
- abuser threatened and / or harmed children.