Develop a Safety Plan

how to develop a safety plan

If you are dealing with a physically violent Narcissist, I strongly urge you to get out now. They will not change, and often times the abuse just gets worse and worse. On average victims of abusers leave their abuser seven times before leaving for good (they come to terms with the fact that their abuser won’t change, regardless of their promises to do so) or they are killed. Whichever comes first. I know it’s scary, but you can do this.

Find a domestic violence shelter in your area, and call them.  You can generally talk with staff there and they can help you develop a plan, or tell you if what you are experiencing is abuse. If you don’t want to stay at a shelter, figure out a friend or family member you can stay with. Encourage them to play stupid and not let the abuser know where you are–regardless if the abuser says he’s sorry, or misses the kids, or is worried about you. If you aren’t quite ready to leave yet, please get a safety plan in place. Domestic violence shelters can also generally help you obtain food, clothing and a plan (possibly even tickets) to get out of town.

1.Develop a “safe word”.  A safe word is a word that you agree with a friend or family member ahead of time that lets them know you can’t talk and are in danger. Make this word something that is unique, but nothing that would raise a red flag to anyone else. Something like “grey kitten” or “grasshopper”. Agree on a word that you could work into a sentence like, “We might be adopting a kitten tonight…and I might need to let you go soon.” or “Johnny has to catch a grasshopper for his science class.” Odds are this sentence will in no way shape or form be related to what you were just talking about, and it should alert the other person into knowing something is wrong. They need to know that you might not be able to answer anymore questions, and that if you hang up they need to call 911 and use a GPS locator on your phone to find your location (if possible.)

2. Get copies (or ideally take originals) of all important papers. These would be copies of your birth certificates, social security cards, drivers licenses, auto insurance, auto registration, divorce papers, citizenship papers, immunization records, and anything else you can think of.

3. Make extra sets of keys. Make extra sets of keys for your house and vehicles. Give a set to a friend, and keep a set somewhere hidden on the different vehicles in case you need to get out fast.

4. Pack a “go” bag. Pack a bag of several sets of clothing and some shoes for the kids and yourself. Keep these bags someplace safe, like at a friend’s house. Do not keep these bags where the abuser might find them. You do not want to alert him or her that you are leaving.

5. Keep extras of medications. If you or the kids are on medication, keep extras in your “go” bag. Make sure to also pack any medical supplies that might be needed, such as insulin syringes, blood tester, blood testing strips, asthma inhalers, etc. Make sure you check them periodically to make sure they aren’t expired–and remember, a lot of medications need to be kept at room temperature or in the fridge.

6. Have a safe location. If you leave, you don’t want the abuser to know where you are going. Safe houses and shelters are good, as are motels and hotels that are out of the way.

7. Make sure to turn off the “Find my iPhone” or GPS feature on your phone. Your abuser can track you this way. If you aren’t sure how to do this, google it or call your service provider ahead of time.

8. Don’t hesitate to call the police. You may be struggling with whether or not to call the police as maybe it might mean he gets fired from his job, or maybe you don’t think the abuse isn’t “that bad” yet. If you are feeling like  you are in danger, call the police. Abusers can either be physically dangerous or they can hint at being physically dangerous. “If you left me/cheated on me, I’d kill you.” Or, “It’s be a real shame if something happened to you.” Take all threats either real or perceived seriously.

9. Find alternative placement for your pets. If you are staying because of your pets (lots of victims do), line up alternative placement with a friend or family member. Some shelters can also help you find temporary housing for your pets. I know that you want to protect your pets, but please remember if you don’t protect yourself, you may not be around to protect them.

10. Remember this is not your fault. Many men and women find themselves in physically abusive relationships. It’s not easy to leave. People who haven’t been in one, generally don’t understand. Find supportive friends, family or groups on Facebook for domestic violence. You are not alone, many people do care, and you deserve more.

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 324 Articles

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of “in the trenches” experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It’s for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

8 Comments

  1. How can a narc fool family members so well. Esp siblings. They grew up together right? Do they possibly have the same traits?

  2. Great question! My guess would be that it’s one of a few different possibilities:

    – The siblings are in denial about the Narc’s behavior (cognitive dissonance)
    – The siblings see the Narc’s behavior but don’t want to discuss it with others
    – The siblings have the same behavior and don’t see that it’s problematic
    – The siblings grew up around similar behavior (with a parent) and so it doesn’t seem like abnormal behavior

  3. all the above from what I’m learning on YouTube. Been in tears for days realizing just how much my NM took from me. Thank you for your response.

  4. First, thank you for sharing the knowledge you’ve gained from relationships and being a self help junkie. Lol (I may be too 😀 )

    My question is what’s the best plan for leaving a covert narcissist that started his smear campaign long before I had any clue as to what was happening and that has all but ruined me financially?

    I see in some support groups people “seperating” with a list of to do”s for the narcissist. But my fear is if I give him any lead time he will wipe me out on any and all levels. He’s already set it up that I’m crazy and untrustworthy with the people in our lives.. Sigh….

    Any resources you can point me to that can give step by step instructions?
    I’m thinking of getting hidden cameras and
    Pulling my retirement money to facilitate my extrication. Ugh! So stressful! Did I mention we have a small child? And yes he’s bad mouthed me to my him/her too.

  5. I came across your info tonight and I am so thankful I did. I learned so much and watched the videos until almost 3:30am. This is what I had been living for less than a year. He never lived with me, however, just started coming over daily. It got so I knew I needed time alone being an introvert and I would dread seeing his car come down the road. I saw red flags, having been divorced twice I kept asking myself “do I want to live like this?” and that was a big factor in telling him to get out of my life. He’s trying hard to stay in but I am going to see what legal avenues I can take. Thanks for the info that shined the light on the behaviors I experienced as well.

  6. Yes, they are often really hard to get out of our lives once they are in. It’s their parasitic nature, and they often need something: shelter, money, sex, attention, etc. You could get a restraining order on him (if you feel safe doing so). If you go either no contact or “gray rock” they do often lose interest and move on. …I hope this situation gets better soon. I can imagine how stressful this must be!

  7. The no contact/gray rock is what I am doing. Parasite is so correct, I believe I’ll start calling him Mistletoe. Since I had never lived with him I found it’s more difficult to get a restaining order. (I’m so thankful we never lived together or married-having been through 2 divorces I wanted to be more careful). I did try the restraining order, however, the family and civil court really didn’t seem to know which court was the actual one I needed. It seemed that the judge felt the narcissist did not intend violence. I was denied by both courts. The second police officer I dealt with was so much more helpful & he even recorded the calls and spoke to the narcissist. The officer did call him later and noted that the narcissist asked if he could come to the town I live in. He was told he could, which he is entitled to & unfortunately could leave the door open for this dragging on. I kept all the weird letters and cards he sent for documentation. I even recorded his calls from my home to cell phone in case I needed to bring it in to court. I know the narcissist is a liar, he said he wouldn’t contact me (this was early in December) has left multiple messages, even noting I got rid of my cell phone in a msg, and has sent cards. He left horrible msgs (some very whiny) on my old cell-calling me names, and yet in some other correspondence telling me he’s kind-hearted. He is a legend in his own mind. Last Sunday he left a note and flowers on my car which meant he’s been looking for me (I wasn’t home & I changed where I go on Sunday) so I went to the police. That was when the second officer received my affidavit. I no longer open the cards & letters. In one prior letter he wrote my name nineteen times (first & last). Even resorting to writing on the back of the envelope saying “this is a nice card, ok, ok so please read please”, that he has a new job with how much his take home pay is, writing “I will forever miss you…and know that I will never stop crying over you (with a face and tears), and “if you want to be with me call or write” (amusing since the officer just told him I want to be left alone). I wonder if the post office staff are enjoying the comments…

  8. Ugh, I am so sorry you are going through this. …I am also so thrilled that you didn’t marry this guy, as it could have been so much worse (as you well know). When they start resorting to stalking, they can be very unpredictable–and I encourage you to prepare yourself as much as you can by anticipating his behavior to the best of your abilities. This may mean getting some motion sensor cameras outside of your house installed, or carrying some sort of personal protection with you at all times. His behavior may escalate or become more erratic once you start dating again. I hope he moves on soon. …This might seem like a random thing to say, but always go with your gut in situations like this. If you feel like you are in danger, better to err on the side of caution. Even though he is “only” leaving cards and flowers on your car, that is still very unsettling behavior and is designed to let the target know that he knows where you are. Take care, and be safe. (((hugs)))

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