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A safety plan is a personalized strategy to prevent potentially dangerous situations. Because THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME IN AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP IS DURING AND TWO WEEKS AFTER THE BREAKUP, you should inform your support network before breaking up with that person. Your support network can help protect you and limit your partner's access to you.  Below you will find different considerations for a safe breakup, they are designed to adapt to the stage of each relationship.

Guíapar la ruptura segua


It is essential that you make a plan for the breakup, whether you plan to leave or stay in
an unhealthy or abusive relationship. The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is during a breakup and after leaving your partner . During this period, your partner may escalate his aggression to prevent you from leaving him/her. It is very important that you take preventive measures to keep yourself as protected as possible.


Plans for breaking up can change as the relationship evolves. Even if you won't leave an abusive relationship, it's important to make a plan for your safety. If you're worried about how your partner might react to the breakup, you can start your plan by answering a few basic questions and adding more safety measures if you feel increasingly threatened.​



If you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, keep in mind that the abuse is NEVER your fault and that you deserve to feel safe. Asking for help to leave a relationship that no longer makes you happy or threatens your safety is your right, it is not a sign of weakness to lean on the people and resources around you. You do not have to be in an immediate crisis to use these resources. Planning and anticipation are key to safeguarding the integrity and life of a person.


  • Identify your support system in advance and call on it when necessary.

  • Tell your friends, parents, or a trusted adult* that you are ending your relationship, especially if you think your ex will try to confront you when you are alone.

  • It's normal to miss your partner after a breakup, even if they were abusive. Write your reasons for

  • end the relationship, and keep them as a reminder for later. Give a copy to a trusted   friend you've identified as a member of your support system.

  • If you don't feel safe, don't report the separation in person. Sometimes the safest way to  end  is over the phone or via social media, you don't owe an abusive partner a face-to-face breakup.

  • If you decide to break up in person, always do it in a public place. Ask your friends or parents to wait at   nearby, and always carry a working cell phone.

*If you are an LGBTQ+ student, you may be concerned about being outed. It's appropriate and important to find a trusted adult, which is crucial if your parents don't support you.

Consejos para terminar con una pareja abusiva


How to leave an unhealthy or abusive partner for high school students.

Questions to consider:

  • Should I modify my class schedule? Who should I turn to in this situation?

  • Which teachers, counselors, administrators, or coaches should I tell about the break   to make my school safety a priority?

  • Do I walk to my car or drive home unaccompanied?   Who can I ask to be with me during these times?

  • Do I spend time alone before my parents/guardians/siblings come home?

  • Do I have a place I can go if I feel like my house is not safe: a neighbor, grandparent, or friend?

  •  Do I live in a state that allows teens to get restraining orders?   If not, what public area can I go to during these times?

  • What is the safest way to get to/from school?

  • Who do I go to if my partner has threatened to cause physical harm to himself/herself or me?

  • Do I have a list of phone numbers written down and kept in a safe place? Do I have the  numbers of my relatives memorized?

  • Will you contact my family or friends to find out where I am?

  • Do you have access to my virtual location? Do you know any of my   online passwords?

  • Where can I keep documentation of abusive,   bullying or abusive comments/posts/texts , and photos of physical abuse?**

  • What steps can I take to minimize sexually explicit photo blackmail?

  • Who are the counselors at my school, and where are their offices located?

  • Who can I call if I feel overwhelmed or need additional support?

**Be sure to save all captures of bullying communications from your partner, police reports, emergency room visits related to injuries caused by your partner, etc., to support any reports you may need to make later.



How to create a security plan while studying at university.

Questions to consider:

  • Do I have campus security numbers and local police numbers stored in a safe place?

  • What is the safest way to enter/exit my student residence or apartment?

  • Do I have a safe place to stay if I feel like my home is not safe?

  • Do I have a place where I can leave extra keys/clothes/money?

  • Who should I notify about my situation so they can be on the lookout for suspicious activity or sounds : roommates, neighbors, resident councilors, campus security?

  • What is the safest way to leave my residence or apartment to go to class/work? Do I need someone to walk me to class?

  • Where on campus can I go if I feel I need to change my class schedule or change rooms in the residence hall?

  • Who can help me get a court restraining order?

  • How does my college deal with cases of domestic violence?

  • Where can I keep documentation of abusive, harassing, or abusive comments/posts/text messages, and photos of physical abuse?

  • Where can I go to change my locks?

  • Will you contact my friends or family to find out where I am?

  • Do you have access to my virtual location: Maps, FindMyFriends, FindMyiPhone? Do you know any of my

    online passwords?

  • Is there a self-defense class that is taught on campus that you can take to increase your


  • Do I have a whistle, pepper spray, or alarm to alert the police that I can take with me?



How to leave an unhealthy or abusive partner for young adults not enrolled in school or college.

Questions to consider:

  • Who should I call to change the locks on doors and windows?

  • Who do I call if I need a safe place to stay?

  • Who can I go with and return from work?

  • What are the local community and legal resources available to me?

  • Is a court restraining order a viable option? 

  • Do I have a trusted friend or neighbor or neighbor that I can leave clothes/money/keys with?

  • Where can I keep documentation of abusive comments/posts/text messages,   bullying or abusive, and photos of physical abuse?

  • Do you have access to my virtual location: Maps, FindMyFriends, FindMyiPhone? Do you know any of my   online passwords?

  • Where is the security office located at my workplace and what kind of help can it offer me?   Give them a photograph.

  • If you live alone, who can you ask to stay with you or who can you stay with?

  • Do you know your personal routine? (where do I park my car, what grocery store do I frequent, etc.). » Do you know your route to/from work?

  • Do you know the code of the building where you stay, or where to find the auxiliary key?



How to leave an unhealthy or abusive partner when living together or if children are involved.

Questions to consider:

  • What are the safe areas of my house where there are no weapons and easy escape routes? If there is any solution how can I get to that place? Practice in advance how to get out safely from that location.

  • Is it possible to have a prepaid phone hidden and programmed with important numbers?

  • Do the children have access to a phone programmed with the 911/prepaid number and do they know how to use it?

  • Where can I safely store documentation of abusive, harassing, or abusive comments/posts/text messages and photos of physical abuse?

  • Where is there a safe place in the house where children can go?

  • Do I have a code word with my children so they know when to call or implement the safety plan?

  • Where is a safe place to take the children if we need to leave the house right away?

  • Where can I start setting money aside, or which trusted friend or family member will keep it hidden from me?

  • Which trusted friend or family member will keep extra keys, clothing, and important documents (or copies of these documents)?   Examples: driver's license, credit cards and checkbooks, passports, birth certificates, welfare information, valuable jewelry/photos

  • Which member of my children's school can I inform of the situation?

  • Do I need to remove or add a person (parent or other family member) from the collection list?


  • How can I change my rides to/from the children's work or school?

  • What frequented places should I change: grocery stores, dry cleaners, etc.?

  • Do you know the code of the building where you stay, or where to find the auxiliary key?



Most of the above questions also apply during the post-breakup stage. You should keep those measures in place for as long as it takes to stay safe. Below are additional questions to consider as you move from the time of the initial breakup.

Questions to consider:

  • Is there a support group of other survivors I can join?

  • What do I need to do to make sure the restraining order is enforced? » Have I checked my devices for electronic spying?

  • If I share custody of my children with an abusive person, have I hired an attorney to determine what the next steps are regarding custody?

Note: Free legal support is often available through domestic violence agencies. If you feel in the slightest danger DO NOT HESITATE to call 075 or 911 as soon as possible.

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