A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan to improve your safety while experiencing abuse, preparing to leave an abusive situation, or after you leave.
This plan includes vital information tailored to your unique situation and will help you prepare for and respond to different scenarios, including telling your friends and family about your situation, coping with emotions, and various resources suited to your individual circumstances.
Internet Safety Planning
The Internet is a good place to search for information and seek help, but it is also a way an abusive partner can gain control. Abusers, stalkers and other criminals can get information about you and make contact through your online activities. There are things you can do to stay safe when you visit websites, shop online, or use email or social media.
- Do not “check-in” on social media
- Create a different social media or e-mail account unknown to the abuser
- Use fake names when possible
- Sign out of your accounts
- Do not post photos that show your location
- Turn off GPS location
- Use a safe computer that cannot be tracked by your partner for example: a friend’s computer, library, agency, workplace
Removing Internet Browsing History
To hide your Internet activities you need to clear the computer’s memory of the most recent pages you have accessed on the Internet. This memory is the browser’s cache. By emptying your computer’s cache, your recently visited sites will be deleted. It is a good idea to access some sites on other subjects after you have cleared the cache so that it will have some items in it.
Delete the Browsing History on Microsoft Internet Explorer:
- Click on “Tools” in the top menu
- Select “Internet Options”
- Select the “General” tab
- In the middle section, “Temporary Internet Files”, click “Delete Files”
- In the bottom section, “History”, click “Clear History”
Delete the Browsing History on Google Chrome:
- Open Chrome
- At the top right, click more
- Click history
- On the left, click “Clear browsing data”. A box will appear
- From the drop-down menu, select how much history you want to delete. To clear everything, select the beginning of time
Delete the Browsing History on Apple Safari:
- Open Safari
- Select the Bookmarks icon in the upper left corner
- Click the History Menu
- Click Clear and select how much history you would like to clear. For example, all recorded history
Safer Spaces certificate to end tenancy is a program for tenants to end their tenancy agreement without financial penalty by getting a certificate confirming that they’re a victim of domestic violence.
The Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Act allows for victims of family violence to end a residential tenancy agreement without financial penalty.
To do this, tenants must get a Certificate Confirming Grounds to Terminate Tenancy, and use it to give at least 28 days’ notice to their landlord. The tenant is still required to pay rent during the notice period.
- Alberta Gov’t – Safer Spaces certificate to end tenancy
Safety Planning with Pets
If you have pets, they may be at risk so including pets in a safety plan will ensure that all family members will escape an abusive situation.
- Know your pets’ hiding spot so you do not have to look for them during an emergency.
- If you have a chance to pre-plan your escape, try to have these pet items in a safe place where your abuser won’t find them:
– Vaccination & Medical Records
– Pet License (to prove ownership)
– ID Tag
– Leash & Collar
– Medication (if required).
- Keep the safe location of your pet a secret from the abuser for your safety. Ask someone you trust to help you with your safety plan.
Where Can My Pets Go?
The Alberta SPCA’s Pet Safekeeping Program provides temporary care for pets whose owners are in violent and abusive situations. If you are fleeing a domestic violence situation and you have a pet, know that shelters in Edmonton area do not allow pets but there are several things you can do:
- Contact a local women’s shelter or a Family Violence Specialist at The Today Centre at 780-455-6880 to get a referral to the Pet Safekeeping Program.
- Contact the Pet Safekeeping Coordinator at the Alberta SPCA at 780-447-3600 ext 3750 to learn more about the program. The Pet Safekeeping program will provide your pet with all required supplies and any medical assistance your pet needs so you do not have to worry about anything while your pet is in the Pet Safekeeping Program. You can also apply for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) that includes protections for your pet.