Safety Planning for Adolescents
Safety planning for adolescents can involve helping them think ahead about ways to be safe in different environments, at home, at school, or in public. Some things to consider in helping adolescents design their safety plan might be:
- Has the adolescent talked with their parents about the abusive relationship?
- How can the adolescent involve their parents in developing a safety plan?
- What other adults could they tell about the violence and abuse to help keep them safe?
- What people at school could they could tell in order to be safe—teachers, principals, counselors, security?
- Could the adolescent consider changing their route to school?
- Could the adolescent consider changing their school locker?
- Could they use a buddy system for going to school, classes, and after school activities?
- What friends could they tell to help them remain safe?
- Does the adolescent tell their parents where are going and who they are with so their parents can be actively involved in their safety?
- If stranded, who could they call for a ride home?
- Keep a journal describing the abuse.
- Adolescents could get rid of or change their number to pagers or cell phones.
- Keep spare change, calling cards, and telephone numbers of people who they can call in an emergency.
- Think about where they could go quickly for help.
- What other things might they be thinking about?
Adolescents can ask themselves these questions:
- If my partner and I have an argument at school and I feel unsafe, I can talk with the school guidance counselor or social workers, my home room teacher or my parents.
- If my partner threatens me on the way home from school and I feel unsafe, I can call the police on my cell phone or go to the police station and call my parents to pick me up.
- If my partner and I get into an argument at my house, I can go to a place where others will hear the arguing and/or to a place where there is less risk of injury.
- If I am on a date and feel uncomfortable about being pressured for sex, I can take a taxi or public transportation home or call a friend or family member to pick me up.
- If I decide to date someone and she/he begins to stalk me, I can go to a populated area, notify the school authorities, notify the police, and/or my parents.
Help the adolescent generate a list of people they can rely on to call for help, at home, at school, around the neighborhood. This list should be realistic and come directly from the adolescent.
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