Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Safety for Survivors

Safety Planning and Lethality

You deserve to be safe. Your partner’s words or actions are not a reflection of you, and only they are accountable for their actions. If your partner’s actions escalate and become more dangerous, it is important to understand when those actions are lethal.

You can work with a domestic violence advocate to plan for your safety.

Domestic Violence Lethality Indicators

Thinking About Suicide

72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner, and 94% of victims of these cases are female (Violence Policy Center 2012).

Having Access to Firearms

Domestic violence survivors are 5x more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun (Campbell et al., 2003).

Strangulation (too often minimized as choking)

Strangulation is a significant predictor of future lethal violence (Glass et al., 2009).

Domestic violence victims who have been strangled in the past are 10x more likely to be killed by strangulation by their partner (Campbell et al., 2003).

Abuse While Pregnant

Abuse of Pets

71% of women entering domestic violence shelters who own pets report that their partner threatened, hurt, or killed a family pet (NCADV).

The severity of domestic violence correlates to animal abuse (Clery et al., 2021).

Safety Planning Resources


Reach out to an advocate from any domestic violence program in the state for help with safety planning.


Find more resources on how to safety plan from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.