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Staying Safe

As a crime victim, you may not feel safe. This section includes information about protecting your safety and getting the help you need.

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Addressing Safety

How to Stay Safe

Thinking about safety can be especially important for victims of crime. It can help reduce risk, and also help victims of crime develop a sense of security. A good way to begin thinking about safety is forming a safety plan.

What is safety planning?

A safety plan is a list or combination of ways to keep physically safe and meet your basic needs. It can also include other things needed to help you feel calm and secure.
A safety plan can be personalized to meet each person’s different needs. It is often useful to have different safety plans for different situations or settings (home, school, work, etc.).
When thinking about safety, it is helpful to ask yourself these questions:
What does safety mean to you?

What makes you feel unsafe, anxious, or in danger?

What is calming when you feel like this?

What do you need, both tangible and not, to feel safe? What information do you need to know to feel safe?

What do others need to know about you to help you feel safe?

What helps you feel calm? What helps you feel normal?

Who are people you feel safe around? Who do you feel comfortable contacting in an emergency? When can you contact them? How would you contact them in an emergency?
For more information about safety planning, click here.

Tips for forming a safety plan

It might not always be possible to immediately leave all situations. You may want to go outside or into a different room for a break from a tense situation. Consider taking this time to take some deep breaths, call a social support person, or reach out to a hotline.

Identify trusted persons or a community for continued support in a crisis. Creating a code word or sentence with trusted persons to show that help is needed can be useful. Think about discussing what help would look like in different scenarios with support networks. Have different plans for each scenario (e.g., de-escalation, calling a specific individual, calling 911, etc.).
Consider having a “go-bag” of important items ready. It could include medication, money, phone charger, documents, food, IDs, and other necessary items. Consider memorizing important contact information. Know the safest, easiest ways to leave quickly.
Think about ways to calm down when feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, or scared. This could be things like positive self-talk, breathing exercises, or using a meditation app.

Reach out to support networks and/or spiritual support systems. This could include friends, family members, or other trusted people.
How can I be safe at work?
A safety plan might include specific steps that can be applied at work. This could include talking to building security or supervisors about specific situations or safety issues. If someone is trying to make unwanted contact, it could include screening phone calls or mail/email.

Developing a plan for arriving and leaving work can be helpful, especially if there is a safety concern about someone trying to make unwanted contact (ex. walk with a coworker, meet a security guard).

Sometimes the safety concern can come from coworkers or people who work nearby. Consider talking with a supervisor about options regarding scheduling, safety precautions, and employee/family benefits.

An employer may want to obtain an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment against someone causing a safety concern in the workplace. They can do this to protect a specific employee’s safety as well as other employees or people in the workplace.

If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace (for example: sexual harassment, racial discrimination, gender discrimination) you may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Click here to learn more.

Safety Resources and Help