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Safety Planning for the Holidays

domestic abuse help domestic abuse safety Dec 03, 2023

For many people, this time of year conjures happy thoughts. They think of all the wonderful food, special events, and time of celebrating with family. However, one in four women, in and out of our faith communities, have been negatively affected by domestic abuse. Those who have not found the courage to find help, suffer silently. 

Their homes are confusing, full of turmoil, and possibly, danger because with the holidays come increased:

  • Financial pressures
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Family pressures and conflict
  • Time with a controlling husband due to holiday time off

In or out of the holiday season, safety is always a priority when living with a controlling and unpredictable person. 

Often women want to create a special season for their children and will put on a brave face so no one can see their pain. As one woman shares, “we are the perfect family of four sitting on the front row looking like we have it all together.” She and her husband are involved in ministries within their church. But the rest of the sad but true story is that her husband has been abusive behind their closed door for over twenty years.

If you are, or know, one of these women, please take a moment to review ways to stay safe this upcoming holiday season.

One of the best things to do is to have a Safety Plan. A Safety Plan will give insight on how to stay safe in the different situations a woman may find herself in, such as:

  • During a violent incident.
  • When preparing to leave
  • In her residence
  • With an Order of Protection
  • On the job and in public
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Emotional health
  • Items to take when leaving (extra clothing, chargers, important documents, etc.)
  • Telephone numbers to know

Due to the unpredictability of domestic abuse, it is always wise to be prepared. Having a Safety Plan prepared ahead of time will:

  1. Help to keep you safe
  2. Give you the confidence that you can leave during a crisis moment immediately
  3. Give you a sense of control over your life
  4. Allow more room for healing
  5. Potentially save your life 
Having a Safety Plan enabled one survivor the ability to leave on Thanksgiving Day after a threat by her husband to her safety and that of her children. This was the confirmation she needed to leave and she was able to do so because she was prepared.

Never underestimate the desperate measures a husband is capable of when he realizes his wife may leave, when she has left, and especially when/if she chooses to end the marriage. It needs to be said that not all separations end in divorce. when a husband chooses to do the hard work to reach a place of repentance instead of vengeance, there is a greater chance of a restored marriage. This change often takes one to three years, depending on the aggressiveness of the abuser. Statistically, the far majority of controlling men (single digit percent) are not willing to get the help they need to consistently take full responsibility for their harmful actions. Therefore, the home and the marriage continue to be unsafe for a woman.

In addition to having a Safety Plan:

  •  Always have your phone with you (and fully charged).
    • Put these numbers on speed dial and also have them written down somewhere or memorized:
      •  local police number
      •  support person that can come help you
  • Pick a safe word to tell your support person, and children, if necessary
  • Download a Safety App such as:
    • Injury Capture (click here for more information)
      •  Use the Injury Capture app to record and securely store legally admissible forensic evidence in just a few taps. It’s up to you, if and when, you choose to formally report the crime and submit the evidence to the police. But whether you choose to submit the evidence you capture with this app, today, tomorrow or in a few years time, it will be evidentially admissible and able to support a swift investigation and, hopefully, prosecution. 
    • Ebodyguard (
      • Victims can either yell “eBodyGuard NOW!” to activate the app up to 30 feet away, or they can open it on their phone and press the SOS button. 
      • The app will then:
        • Connect to the nearest 911 telecommunication center where a telecommunicator will receive the user’s location
        • Allow the user to speak live to the telecommunicator, if possible
        • Send user’s location to one or more designated emergency contacts 
        • Begin an audio recording of the scene which can later be used as evidence in a criminal investigation
        • The user is able to change the voice command to something else, as well.

Our Oasis Bible Study is of great help and brings hope to women going through Domestic Abuse.   Survivors find a supportive community of women on the same journey and forge a way forward through God’s Truth about them and abuse.  

 >>Learn more and register for one of our safe and confidential online classes today! >>


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