Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
Family Crisis Unit
Whatever else you may decide to do, many victims of domestic violence find it helpful to make a safety plan. You can make a safety plan yourself, call the Family Crisis Unit (865) 215-6820.
Do not share this safety plan with anyone who may reveal your plans to the abuser. Whether you are with your abusive
partner or have already ended the relationship, there are things you can do that may be helpful in planning for your future safety.
Victims of Domestic Violence:
- Tell your kids that, if there’s violence, their job is to stay safe, not to protect you. Find a safe place for them to stay in case of violence, such as with a neighbor or in a locked room. Teach them to call 911 and what to say to the dispatcher.
- Hide money, spare keys and a small bag of clothes at work or at a friend’s house. For small children, hide a favorite toy or stuffed animal that will comfort them.
- Inform your employer about the situation and develop a safety plan at work. Share a photo and description of the abuser with them and any pertinent legal documentation, such as a protection order.
- Document the abuse by taking photos of bruises and injuries, tell your doctor and get copies of your medical records; save threatening voicemails, notes and e-mails and write each incident down in a journal.
- Gather important documents or copies of documents such as passports, birth certificates, social security cards, insurance papers, work permits or green cards, ownership documents for car and/or house, checkbooks and bank account numbers. Hide these papers at work or at a friend’s house. Know the abuser’s social security number, birth date and place of birth.
- Consider obtaining a protection order. It directs the abuser not to contact, communicate with, attack, sexually assault or telephone you, your children or other family members. If you have a protection order, carry a copy of it with you at all times.
Victims Planning on Staying – When You Are Afraid:
- Move away from the kitchen, bathroom, garage or anyplace where there are dangerous sharp objects.
- Plan the easiest escape route. Decide on a door or window to exit quickly and safely. Make sure your kids know the route and practice it with them. Have a code word so they know when to call the law enforcement.
- Don’t wear necklaces or scarves – these could be used to strangle you.
- Always make sure weapons are secured and that guns aren’t loaded.
Victims Who Have Left Their Abuser:
- Change the locks on your doors. Install steel/metal doors, a security system, smoke detectors and an outside lighting system.
- Get Caller ID for your telephone so you can screen your calls.
- Consider getting a post office box for your mail or participating in a confidential mailing program (if available in your state).
- Learn about your legal rights and options. If you have legal papers, keep copies of them with you at all times.
- Tell neighbors, friends, landlords or coworkers that your abusive partner no longer lives with you. Share your safety plan with people you trust. Explain it to your children.
- Tell your employer/coworkers about your situation and ask them to screen your calls, move your desk, change your work schedule/hours or accompany you to your car.
- Tell the school or day care or others spending time with your children who can pick them up and who can’t. If you have a protective order, make sure they know about it.
- Vary your routes to work, to school or day care, to the grocery store and other places you frequent.
- Tell a co-worker/supervisor about the situation and ask that individual to call the police in an emergency.
- Have a back-up person if the primary contact is not available.
- Ask someone to screen your calls.
- Plan your entry and exit each day.
- Keep a copy of your order of protection with you at all times.
- Provide security and/or reception areas with apicture of the abuser.
- Request that your office or desk be placed in a safe location.
- Request help from an employee assistance program.
- Plan an escape route.
- Have a signal for help (whistle/alarm/cellphone).
- Find a safe room with a phone to use in an emergency.
- Federal, State, andlor local laws prohibit employment discrimination based on your situation as a victim of domestic violence.
- Notify your KCSO Victim Advocate.