Safety Plan

  • Safety Planning is integral in helping abused persons realise actions that can increase their safety as well as that of their children.
  • The following safety plan represents a collaboration between the ITRU, Nashville (U.S.) Police and AUT Diploma of Trauma & Violence Studies.
  • The newly developed New Zealand safety plan worksheet was presented at a seminar "Assessing Dangerousness and Planning for Safety", hosted by AUT on Sept 11, 2003.
  • The safety plan worksheet may be used by persons living with abuse, healthcare workers and other advocates in the community.


Partner abuse:Developing a safety planpdf icon


The NZ safety plan incorporates eight steps towards increasing safety and is designed to be flexible, individual and interchangeable. This is not one-size-fits-all work. Domestic violence interventions must be case-specific and based on an on-going analysis of the totality of risks those being abused face. Being in a relationship with an abusive partner - and surviving - requires considerable skill and resourcefulness. Although she/he may not be fully aware of it, every victim of domestic violence has already been doing risk assignment and safety planning: attempting to manage rising tensions, to head off crises, to protect themselves and their children, to keep an already bad situation from getting worse. It is intended that those utilising this safety plan adapt it for their own circumstances, collaborating with support people and agencies when appropriate. The safety plan is freely available to anyone who wishes to use it, and we welcome any comments and feedback.


The tool was adapted - with permisssion - from the Nashville Police Department separation safety plan. Information from the Auckland Domestic Violence Centre Safety Plan also served as a reference. We would also like to acknowledge the Diploma in Violence and Trauma Studies students (2003) at AUT for the modifications they made to the tool as part of a classroom activity.


We highly recommend the Nashville Police's A Guide to Domestic Violence: Risk Assessment, Risk Reduction, and Safety Plan

as an excellent reference outlining principals of safety planning.