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Crime Prevention > Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence | Child Witnesses | Cycle of Violence | Power & Control | Resources | Safety Planning | Domestic Violence Pamphlet (pdf)

Safety Planning
>Keeping Yourself and Your Children Safe from Violence

(Adapted from Manitoba Justice – Women’s Advocacy Program information)

Remember - each protection plan is unique because individual circumstances are unique.  A domestic violence service provider can help with a more detailed plan to suit your individual needs.

The Protection Plan

What is a protection plan?

A protection plan helps you and your children get to a safe place when you are in danger. The plan includes where to go, and what you need to take with you, if you’re forced to leave your home to escape from a violent partner.

When do you need a protection plan?

  • If you are in an abusive relationship.
    • When you are living within the cycle of violence, you need to be prepared to get yourself and your children to safety when you feel an attack is about to happen.
  • If you have recently left an abusive relationship.
    • If you remain in the family home, it is possible your partner may return and threaten or assault you again. Even if you have obtained a court order, it is no guarantee that the abuser will stay away.
    • If you leave the family home, your partner may search for you, and threaten or assault you.

The Cycle of Violence (and its role in the protection plan)

Violence in abusive relationships follows what is known as a cycle of violence. An assault is usually followed by a period of calm called the honeymoon phase, where the abuser feels and acts sorry about the attack. The honeymoon phase is followed by the tension-building phase, during which there is a gradual build-up of tension, frustration and anger in your partner. It is during the tension-building phase that the chances of assault are much greater. The safest and surest way to protect yourself (and your children) is to put some distance between you and your partner during these high-risk times.

>The Cycle of Domestic Violence

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Elements of a Protection Plan

Remember, each protection plan is unique, because each woman’s circumstances are unique. The most important thing is your safety and the safety of your children.

  1. Be aware of the signs that tell you an assault is about to take place.
  2. Every abusive person has a different set of signs that indirectly tells the partner an attack is about to happen. Being aware of these signs can help a woman in an abusive relationship know when she will be attacked.
  3. Answering the following questions can help you figure out what signs to look for:
    • What does your partner do or say in the period before the attack?
    • Does alcohol play a role in the violence towards you?
    • Is there a predictable time between attacks? When was the last attack and when can you expect the next one?
    • Are there other indicators an attack is about to happen? Examples may include unemployment, pregnancy and money troubles.
  4. Decide on a safe place you can go with your children.
    • This might be a crises shelter, the home of a friend or relative, a hotel or any other place in which you can be safe. If you cannot leave your home, is there a room or area of your home where you can be safe?
  5. Decide how you will get there.
    • Decide what transportation you will use to get to a safe place. Do you have a car? If not, who can help you get to your place of safety? You might arrange for a friend, neighbor or relative to pick you up when the time comes. You may also want to keep some money with friends, so that when you feel threatened, you can leave quickly by taxi even if you have no cash on you. The police or Domestic Abuse Crises Line may be able to help you plan your transportation.
  6. Decide how you will escape from your home if an attack is about to happen.
    • Find out if there is a door or window you can use for escape, if necessary, and whether your children can also be taken out through these exits.
    • Make sure that once you leave the home, you know immediately where to go. Find out beforehand where the nearest public phone is. Memorize any emergency numbers you may need. (i.e., crisis shelter, police, social worker, etc.)
  7. Decide what to take when you leave.
    • Do not stay behind to take any belongings if it endangers you or your children. If possible, do not leave your children. If you are in immediate danger and need to leave them, return as soon as possible, with the police if necessary.
    • If you are not in immediate danger, you should pack the following useful items:
      • Identification for you and your children – such as birth certificates, your social insurance number, driver’s license, immigration papers, passport, or treaty card.
      • Legal documents – your mortgage or lease, or information about loans or assets you have
      • Keys – for your house, care and safety deposit box (if you have one)
      • Personal items – clothing and toiletries
      • Medications you or your children are taking
      • Things for your children – clothing, favorite toys, medicine, diapers or bottles

Remember – safety for you and your children is most important.

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ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • Keep a spare set of house keys and car keys handy.
  • Keep I.D. cards (i.e., health care, band numbers) for yourself and the children in your purse, or some place you can get to quickly.
  • Put some money away in a safe place – a little at a time.
  • Memorize any emergency phone numbers you might need.

Before you return to your home, make sure it is safe to do so. Bring someone with you, if you are in doubt.

For more information, contact the Women’s Advocacy Program:

Toll-Free Province-Wide Domestic Abuse Crises Line (24 hrs) 1-877-977-0007
Winnipeg  1-204-945-6851
Brandon  1-204-726-6515
The Pas 1-204-627-8483
Thompson  1-204-677-6368
Selkirk  1-204-785-5213 

Additional information on the topic of family violence:
Manitoba Justice website on Domestic Violence

Department of Justice, Canada website - Abuse is wrong in any language

NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE ON FAMILY VIOLENCE
Address Locator: 1907D
7th Floor, Jeanne Mance Bldg.,
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1B4 Canada
Telephone 1-800-267-1233 or 613-941-7285
Web site: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/index.html
 

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Last update: July 11, 2011

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