In this article, you will learn why sexual assault survivors need safety plans to protect their legal interests, what to think about when a safety plan is made, and places to turn to for help.
What is a sexual assault safety plan?
A sexual assault safety plan is a written document created by a survivor that sets out ways the survivor can stay safe and reduces the risk of harm. A safety plan is tailored to meet the survivor's individual needs and safety concerns.
What are safety plans used for?
A safety plan is used to help keep the survivor and their family as safe as possible. A safety plan also helps empower a survivor by allowing them to reclaim a sense of security and safety.
When should I consider creating a safety plan?
You should consider creating a safety plan if you are a survivor of sexual assault or if there is a risk of any type of abuse or unsafe situation.
What things should I include in my safety plan?
A safety plan can include anything that will help you feel safer. It is tailored to your individual needs and circumstances, but the following are a few things you should always consider:
- Contact information for emergencies;
- How to stay safe at home (e.g. locks, emergency alarm, code word for opening doors);
- How to stay safe at work, school, or both;
- How to stay safe in public (e.g. always have someone walk you to your car, keeping your keys and cell phone accessible);
- Limiting identifying information on social media and routinely changing passwords;
- What to do if there is contact with the perpetrator; and
- How to cope with mental and emotional triggers.
Where can I get a safety plan?
Who can I contact to discuss an issue related to a sexual assault?
For assistance with legal issues, you can contact Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault.
For assistance with other types of issues, you can contact:
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- Safe Alliance (for Travis county and surrounding areas); and
- 211 (to find your local crisis center).
IMPORTANT things to remember before making contact:
- Make sure you are using a safe device;
- You should have the option of remaining anonymous when you make contact;
- Many hotlines have the option to text or chat if this is more comfortable for you; and
- When leaving a voicemail, state if your callback number is safe.
This article provides resources and general information about what to do if you are sexually assaulted in Texas.
This article explains how to get a sexual assault examination without making a police report.
This article provides information on early lease termination for survivors of sexual assault.