If you are in an abusive relationship and don’t feel that you can leave, it is important that you talk to your children about ways they can stay safe. If you want to leave with your children, The Center offers comprehensive services for the entire family. You can get help 24/7 by calling our crisis line and speaking with our advocates.

Safety Planning at Home With Your Child

Children often struggle to understand that violence in the home is not their fault. It is very important to remind your kids that you love them and they deserve to be protected. Everyone deserves to have a safe home.

When you are safety planning with a child, they might tell this information to the abusive partner, which could make the situation more dangerous. When talking about these plans with your child, use phrases such as “We’re practicing what to do in an emergency,” instead of “We’re planning what you can do when dad/mom becomes violent.” (National Domestic Violence Hotline)

  • Teach your children when and how to call 911.
  • Identify a room in the house where they can go to when they are afraid and something they can think about when they are scared.
  • Teach them that although they may want to try to protect you, they should never intervene.
  • Instruct them to leave the home if possible when things begin to escalate, and make sure they know where they should go.
  • Come up with a code word that you can say when they need to leave the home in case of an emergency  — make sure that they know not to tell others what the secret word means.
  • Help them make a list of people that they are comfortable talking with and expressing themselves to.
  • Enroll them in a counseling program. Local service providers often have children’s programs.

Shelter at The Center with Children

If you need to seek shelter at The Center children are able to join you.


  • School age children are required to stay in school.
  • Advocates can help arrange for transportation for your child to their home school or assist you in getting them transferred to a new school.
  • Children who are not school age may have access to daycare resources.

Because the effects of witnessing or experiencing intimate partner violence are traumatic to children, our goal is to ease the impact by offering opportunities for healing and building safe relationships with trusted adults.