Safety Planning

If you are still in an abusive relationship:

  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen).

  • Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.

  • Keep change with you at all times.

  • Memorize all important numbers.

  • Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.

  • Think about what you will say to your partner if he\she becomes violent.

If you have left the relationship:

  • Change your phone number.

  • Screen your calls.

  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer. 

  • Change locks, if the batterer has a key. The Refuge can help with this.

  • Avoid staying alone.

  • Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.

  • If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.

  • Vary your routine.

  • Notify school and work contacts. If you have a protective order in place, consider giving them a copy.

  • Call our shelter to go over a safety plan. 912-538-9935

Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence. No one deserves to be abused and it is NOT your fault. 

If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.
Important papers  include social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children, your marriage license, leases or deeds in your name or both yours and your partner’s names, your checkbook, your charge cards, bank statements and charge account statements, insurance policies, proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2’s), and any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)

Cycle of Violence
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Mailing Address

PO Box 853

Vidalia, GA 30475

912-538-9935 Vidalia Office

478-268-9156 Swainsboro Outreach Office

912-216-3898 Sexual Assault Center

The Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter, Inc. does not discriminate against individuals or group on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability.  If you believe you have been the target of discrimination, you have the right to file a civil rights complaint.  Information on how to file a civil rights complaint can be found on the Office of Justice Programs website ( or by contacting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-657-1956

2018 The Refuge

“This project is supported by VOCA Sub-Award No. C19-8-176 administered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime or the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.”