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Safety Planning for Immigrant Survivors


Make a Safety Plan

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and request an interpreter. Do not allow your children to serve as interpreters.
  • Contact with the the police could open a path for legal status as a victim of a crime in the U.S. In Philadelphia the police should not ask about your immigration status or citizenship. Contact people you trust (in person keeping distance, by phone, text or virtual chat) who could help you in an emergency. Establish a code word or a sign with them so they know when you need help (family, neighbors, friends, advocates).
  • Memorize emergency numbers and keep your phone with you at all times.
  • Select a safe room in your house and make sure there is way to exit the room during an emergency. Know where all the exit doors and windows are in your house.
  • Avoid rooms with weapons (kitchen, garage, basement, bathroom) to reduce risk of harm during incidents of abuse. 
  • Use a code word or a sign with your children for when they should get away and call 911. Make sure your children know never to get involved or attempt to protect you. 
  • Learn about technology safety and how to stay safe online. Change your passwords and pins on your phone and computer frequently. Do not allow the computer to remember your passwords.
  • If you are not safe, are there other friends or family you could stay with during this time? Have a plan with them to help you exit and stay with them.
  • Place your medication and important documents (immigration documents, passports, employment authorization cards and green cards) inside a bag in a safe place with easy access or ask a friend to keep them.

Where to call for help?

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Phone: 1-800-799-7233
Text: LOVEIS to 22522
Live Chat:

National Human Trafficking Hotline:
Phone: 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711)
Text: 233733
Live Chat:

National Sexual Assault Hotline:
Phone: 1-800-656-4673
Live Chat:

24/7 assistance through interpreters.

Local Resources

Domestic Violence

Sexual Violence Services

Anti-Human Trafficking Services

Childline: 1-800-932-0313

Immigration Legal Assistance

Community-Based Organizations


Safety Planning Flyers in Various Languages