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May 31, 2017

Living in an Abusive Relationship: Strategies for Staying Safer


Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) recently created new safety planning tools that are particularly designed to meet the needs of women living outside of large urban centres.  For many different reasons, women in small towns and rural communities may be more inclined to stay in abusive relations. Traditionally, safety planning tools were available to help with emergency leaving or staying safe after leaving.

One of the new tools was specifically designed to help women living in an abusive relationship create personal strategies to increase their safety. There are three steps to completing this plan. It does not replace the need for other plans, such as those included in this safety planning section: Emergency Leaving, After Leaving, On the Internet and Safety Plan for my Children.

Click here to open the complete tool. 

Or, you can click and open each of the three “Steps” in the safety plan separately.

Step 1. Deciding to Tell About the Abuse in My Life

(This section will help you to start thinking about people you trust to tell about the abuse in your relationship.)

Step 2. Identifying Situations that Put me at Risk

(This section presents a checklist of risk factors for you to review. Think about the kinds of situations that make you fearful or impact on your sense of safety. Who are the people and agencies that could help you with specific concerns?)

Step 3 My Safety Plan

(This section will help you to build your own personal safety plan – even if you have decided to stay. It will remind you of the strategies (both existing and new) that you identified for reducing the risk of harm to yourself, your children, your family, your pets and your property. Keep your plan someplace safe and revisit it when possible.)

Strategies for Safer Leaving - My Contacts Card (Click here to open or download the Contact Card)


To help you decide which safety plan is most appropriate for a woman to use in a particular situation, review this Flow Chart.