We've discussed how to offer compassionate help to someone we think is involved in sex work, and we've covered how to respond if they refuse our help. Now, let's talk about what to do if they would like to continue the dialogue.
For people living a chaotic or unpredictable lifestyle, basic safety planning is an easy place to start. It can be difficult for a person in crisis to remember details like phone numbers, addresses, and crisis intervention agencies. With a safety plan, this information is at their fingertips. You may work on this plan together, and print an extra copy for you to keep in a safe place for your friend. If you are their trusted person, please be careful to store this information in a safe place, and to keep it confidential. If your friend is in a violent relationship, it is very important to keep the details of their safety plan from their abuser(s). You may download our basic safety plan here, and make changes as you see fit. Text of the document follows.
Basic Safety Planning
If you are living in violent or unpredictable circumstances, a safety plan can keep you safer in times of crisis. Revisit this plan from time to time to ensure all information is current. Here are some suggestions to help you form an effective individualized plan:
Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking agencies
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Polaris Project National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888
In or near Sacramento:
A Community for Peace 916-728-7210
Community Against Sexual Harm 916-856-2900
Empower Yolo 916-371-1907
My Sister’s House (Multilingual) 916-428-3271
Stand Up Placer 800-575-5352
WEAVE, Inc. 866-920-2952
Mental Health Support
TLCS Mental Health Crisis Respite Center 916-RESPITE
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis in Sacramento, are at least 18 years of age, and are not a danger to yourself or others, TLCS Respite Center provides a compassionate environment in which to rest and/or receive counseling for up to 23 hours. Participation is completely voluntary and there is no medical staff on site. A brief telephone intake is required. Transportation provided on a case-by-case basis.
Trusted Personal Contacts:
If I need to leave my home, I can stay with ____________________. Their phone number
is ____________________, and their address is ____________________.
Alternatively, I can stay with ____________________. Their phone number is ____________________, and their address is ____________________.
Doctor/pediatrician: ____________________ Insurance information: ____________________
Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center (restraining orders, legal assistance information: 916-874-6171, hopethriveshere.org/
Before a crisis:
- Gather important documents, including:
- Driver license or state issued identification
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Children’s Social Security cards, birth certificates, immunization records
- Medical insurance cards, debit/credit cards, EBT cards
- Copy of lease or rental agreement
- Keep your phone charged. Carry a charger and a small power bank if possible.
- Keep a small bag packed with spare keys, a small amount of money, clothing, copies of your documents, medications, non-perishable snacks, pet food, and hygiene products. Store in a discreet, easily accessible place, or with a trusted friend or family member.
- Open a savings or checking account in your name only. Keep your debit card or paperwork in a safe location unknown to the abuser.
- Ask a trusted friend or family member if you can stay with them in an emergency.
- If you have children, practice ‘emergency drills’ with them. Make sure they know how to get to a safe place, how to call 911, and how to give their name and address over the phone.
- If you suspect a situation is about to become violent:
- Look around the room and form an escape plan. What floor are you on? Is there only one way out? Are you near a stairwell or elevator? What is the quickest way to leave the building?
- TRUST YOUR INTUITION! If a situation feels bad, it probably is bad. You are not ‘paranoid’ or ‘overreacting.’ You have the right to keep yourself safe as you see fit.
During a violent episode:
- Try to stay in ‘safer’ rooms like the living room, which usually have more than one exit and fewer easily available weapons.
- Avoid the kitchen, bathroom, or any room that has guns, knives, or other objects that can be used as weapons against you.
- Try to stay near an exit.
- Try to keep your phone hidden from the abuser—it could be your lifeline.
When preparing to leave:
- Do not tell the abuser that you plan to leave. This is often the most dangerous time in the cycle of abuse. Keep your plans to yourself.
- Leave when the abuser is not at home.
- If you must use a computer in the home, be aware that your internet activity is easily monitored.
- Clear your browser history and delete stored passwords to banking, medical, and social media websites.
- Find a safe place for pets. Organizations like redrover.org can assist you with this.
Safety on social media:
Social media can easily give away your location and make it easier for the abuser to monitor your activities. Use social media with caution!
- Deactivate, or at least avoid posting on social media (Facebook, twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, et cetera).
- Mark all posts ‘private,’ or set up filters that include only a small number of trusted friends and family.
- Delete any unknown friends and followers.
- Do not post photos that could give away your location.