Anyone can make their own safety plan, which can just be a piece of paper with important bits of information on it to use when you are feeling frightened or the abuse is happening at home.
Things to include in your plan:
- The phone numbers and addresses of friends or adults you can trust
- The phone number for the local police on 101 (or 999)
- The number for Child Line – 0800 11 11
- The Runaway helpline number – 0808 8007070 Text: 80234 Email: email@example.com
Keep it in a safe place where you can get to in an emergency and it will not be found, like in a toy or in your hiding place.
A Safe Place
If you already use a safe hiding place in your house, keep using it whenever you feel in danger. Sometimes you might want to try and stop the person who is doing the shouting or hitting but that can be dangerous for you and possibly other people.
Keep a copy of your safety plan in the hiding place to help you remember what to do if you are scared.
Leaving a mobile phone in your safe hiding place might be useful too – you could use it to call the police or any adult you know and trust if you need help.
The person doing the abusing might have told you to keep quiet about it; they also might have said they will do something bad if you do. Even though you may feel frightened, it is not good to keep secrets and there are lots of people who will help to make sure the hurting and abusing stops.
Talking to someone you can trust can really help: it’s ok to feel nervous about telling somebody, most people do.
For example, you might feel:
- guilty that you’re telling a family secret
- scared of not being believed or of being blame
- afraid of getting someone in your family in trouble
- worried about making the situation worse.
But there are good things about telling someone, like:
- relief at finally getting the problem out
- feeling less alone
- getting someone else’s advice and ideas
- getting safer
- the person could help make the abuse stop.
If you have a friend or an adult you can trust to talk to, you can even agree a ‘code word’ with them: a code word is a word that you can use over the phone or in an email that lets them know you need help. For example, you could agree that your codeword was ‘Algebra’ or a subject you do at school. If you are worried about being heard on the phone, you can use this codeword to let people know you are worried or need help, but it won’t seem like you are asking for help to anyone else.
Quotes from Children and Young People
“My worker helped me understand why dad’s actions were wrong”
“My worker helped me understand why we moved here”
“I like having my own worker and I like having time on my own without my family”
“I can trust my worker because we have built up a good relationship”