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Safety Planning ​with Pre-School Age Children

A safety plan is a simple, concrete plan devised with the child to help him/her get out of a dangerous situation and get to safety. Children cannot stop abuse, although they often try by distracting the abuser or directly intervening in the altercation. The best thing for children to do is to get out of the way.

  • Have the child identify a safe room or place in the house, preferably one with a lock on the door and a telephone. The first step is for the child to get out of the room where the abuse is occurring.
  • Teach the child how to call for help. Make sure the child understands to use a phone in a different room from where the abuse is happening.
  • Teach the child how to contact police and when it is and isn’t appropriate to contact them.
  • Ensure that the child knows their address and full name
  • Practice what the child should say. (Something simple, like someone is hurting my mommy)
  • Try using puppets to role-play