Safety Planning for the Holidays

The holiday season is stressful for many people, but getting through the holidays while experiencing abuse, encountering a past abuser, or witnessing a loved one suffer from abuse can feel extremely overwhelming. Spending time with family and friends, dealing with financial stress, and traveling can make safety planning a challenge.  In addition, family and friends of survivors may struggle to find ways to help or be supportive which, as a result, could cause increased anxiety and isolation. In order to get through the holidays without danger, it is important to prepare accordingly and have a safety plan in place. Although the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful there are tips and techniques that you can read about and implement into your plan in order to create a less anxiety-ridden holiday.

 Experiencing Abuse:

There are many factors a victim must consider when preparing for the holidays. Traveling is a common part of holiday planning and many survivors don’t feel safe spending time with their partner in a small space, such as a car or plane. In this case, you may want to consider giving your itinerary, including where you’ll be staying and contact information, to a trusted friend or family member (preferably someone who doesn’t have close ties with your abuser).

Also, consider putting money aside for yourself in a safe place. That way, if you are put in a position where you have to escape your partner, you will have the finances to cover cab fare and a hotel room. It may also be a good idea to have a list of nearby hotels. In addition, become aware of available resources, such as shelters, in the area that you’re traveling to and keep their address and contact information readily available. Lastly, know the emergency number for the city/country you are traveling to.

If you’re currently with an abusive partner, reach out to a trained domestic violence advocate. Remember, reaching out does not require you to figure out an escape plan right away, you can simply call to talk. If you can’t call safely from your home, call from a trusted friend’s house, your doctor’s office or a public library.  If you have children with you this holiday, check out The Hotline’s post on safety planning with children. The post covers unsupervised visitation, safe child exchange and ideas for children living with an abusive parent.

Creating A Safety Plan- If You’re Experiencing Abuse

  • Consider discussing ways to make parties or family visits safer. An example is asking if people can make a commitment to not have alcohol around, or limit the amount served.  

  • If you’re a victim who does not feel safe sleeping in the same room as your partner, consider talking with your hosts or family about finding a separate couch or sharing a room with other guests or family members.

  • Consider brainstorming reasons to get out, like helping someone with holiday plans or gift shopping; you can be creative with these ideas.

  • Try to make your own plans to get rest, get good nutrition, talk to supportive friends and do things you enjoy.

Encountering A Past Abuser:

Survivors can be especially fearful of the holidays when the abuser is a member of their family. As the holidays approach it is normal for survivors to experience feelings of anxiety, guilt, worry, panic, and loneliness. If you are a survivor and you know your abuser will be present for the holidays, you are forced to face the reality that you will encounter your abuser, which can trigger traumatic memories. But it’s not always the abuser that the survivor is afraid of facing; in some instances survivors may fear family members who neglected to believe them about the abuse. It could be a mother who continued her relationship with a father or boyfriend as if  the abuse never happened, or maybe you are going back to the home you grew up in that holds the memories of the abuse you experienced and witnessed when you were growing up. Facing these family members could bring on a variety of emotions.

It is important for survivors to remember that what they are feeling is completely normal and valid. You have a right to your own thoughts and feelings, you are not overreacting, and you are not making things up.

Creating A Safety Plan- If You’re Encountering A Past Abuser

  • Reach out to a neutral party, such as domestic violence advocates and hotlines. Survivors often feel isolated because of patterns of not being believed, fear of disclosing, or concerns about creating family tensions or division. It can be easier to talk to a neutral third-party that can offer support.

  • If you’re a survivor, consider brainstorming reasons to get out, like helping someone with holiday plans or gift shopping.

  • Try to avoid close quarters. For many survivors, family pressures or traditions do not permit them to stay outside the family home. In this situation, survivors should brainstorm ways to avoid the perpetrator during gatherings.

    • Make plans that involve leaving the home for an extended period of time, such as catching up with old friends or offering to run errands for the household.

    • Stick to common areas and public places within the home or building, such as a living room or kitchen, and try to avoid secluded areas.

    • Avoid talking to, sitting near, or standing around the person who hurt you. It’s okay to draw boundaries, even if it makes other family members uncomfortable.

Witnessing A Loved One Suffer From Abuse:

Seeing someone you care about being hurt is also stressful. Remind yourself that you can’t make decisions for someone else, but you can ask a survivor what they need and offer help. If you suspect someone in your life is the victim of an abusive partner, watch for red flags, such as extreme possessiveness, jealousy, intimidation, humiliation, threatening and pressuring. To support a victim, it is important that friends and family members remain non-judgmental and supportive.  If you’re worried about someone who is experiencing abuse and you’re not sure what to say, remember that you cannot “rescue” them. Finding out that a loved one is experiencing abuse may cause you to feel responsible for fixing their situation in order to stop the abuse and save your loved one from experiencing pain. Instead of trying to “rescue” them, acknowledge that they are in a difficult and scary situation, be supportive and listen, encourage them to participate in activities outside of their relationship with friends and family, encourage them to talk to advocates who can provide them help and guidance and help them develop a safety plan.

Creating A Safety Plan- If You’re A Family Member or Friend

  • Ask the survivor to go on a shopping trip or errand with you, go for a walk or workout, invite them to a celebration or have them help you with a chore/holiday prep activity in order to give the victim space away from their abusive partner.

  • Offer to be on standby for the victims texts or calls throughout the holiday season; have your phone on and fully charged at all times and keep it on you.

  • Assure them that they are welcome to take refuge in your home if they need somewhere to stay.

  • Check-in regularly: call or text your loved one once a day at a random time to see if they are all right.

  • For further information click here to learn more about how to provide support to your loved one.

If you are a survivor of intimate partner violence there are many organizations you can reach out to for help. We suggest taking a look at our resources page to learn more about organizations in your area. Remember that you can always talk to a domestic violence advocate at our toll free hotline (1.800.214.4150). 



#GivingTuesday: n. global day of giving, celebrated on Tuesday, November 28th after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Day One is kicking off the charitable giving season with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign centered around #GivingTuesday. Here’s where you come in.


Start a fundraiser to rally your friends, family, and co-workers to support Day One. Get started in three easy steps! Start a Fundraiser


$250, $500, $1,000, it’s up to you! Making a personal donation is also a great way to kick off your fundraising.


Personalize your fundraising page by adding a title, photo and description with your message to supporters!

  1. SHARE

Help spread awareness and raise dollars for Day One by sharing your fundraising page with friends, family and co-workers through email, text, and social media. It’s super simple and super effective.


TITLE (Name of your Fundraiser)

Just note, if you plan on changing the title, this will also change your fundraising page URL. Be sure you are satisfied with your Title before sharing the link to your fundraising page!

DESCRIPTION (Why you are doing this)

Let your friends and family know why you are fundraising to support Day One. Remember it’s your story and your connection to the organization that makes the difference. Feel free to write your own or customize the example below.

Example Campaign Description:

1 in 5 teenage girls have experienced abuse in their relationships within the previous year. 

Day One is working to change this by educating young people to identify and maintain healthy relationships. Please join me in supporting Day One by making a donation by November 28th. Here's how your gift will make an impact: 

Every dollar you give will support Day One’s work to end dating abuse and domestic violence.

Since 2003, Day One has educated more than 75,000 youth and youth serving professionals about healthy relationships and warning signs of abuse.

In 2017, Day One has provided direct legal and social services to over 2,300 clients.


Upload a selfie OR Upload the Day One logo


If you’d like to edit your newly created fundraising page you can do so by activating your Donately account.

1. Search your inbox for an email with the subject line “Getting started with your new fundraiser”.

2. Select the “activating” link to activate your donately account. DO NOT CLICK “signing in”.

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3. Confirm your email address. You will then receive a second email with the subject line “Set your Donately Password”. Click this link to create your Donately account password.

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4. Enter a password. We suggest using: FirstName_LastName_Age
Password must be considered “Strong”, not “Better” to proceed. Select Go to Dashboard.

5. Select Fundraisers on your dashboard. Select edit to update to your fundraising page.

6. Go to to login anytime using your email address and password.


Make It Personal

Share your story and connection to Day One. The more personalized you make your asks, the more people will relate and support you with a donation.

Get Social

Use the “share” button on your fundraising page to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and email to reach your friends, family and co-workers.

Double Your Impact

Matching gifts are a great way to double your fundraising impact. Make sure you and your donors check with Companies to see if they will match your contributions.

Think Big

Ask for specific dollar amounts from your supporters. Make sure you follow up with a call or text.

Get started with your fundraising today! 

Below are a few templates and assets to get you started.


Dear NAME,

As you may know I serve on the Young Professionals Board for an organization called Day One. This #GivingTuesday, I’m raising awareness and support for Day One’s important work which keeps young people safe from dating abuse and sexual assault.

Please consider making a $AMOUNT donation by November 28th using this link: ADD LINK. 

Every dollar contributed makes a difference so please give whatever you can. Thank you for your support!

To learn more about Day One visit their website:


Hey. I’m raising money to support Day One an organization that is working to end dating abuse & domestic violence. Donate to support my cause! ADD LINK. 

SAMPLE POSTS FOR INSTAGRAM                                                                       

This #GivingTuesday I’m raising money to support @DayOneNY and their work that keeps young people safe from dating abuse and sexual assault. Please consider making a donation by Nov. 28th using the link in bio. #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe #BlackFriday #CyberMonday

Together we can empower young people to identify and maintain healthy relationships! This #GivingTuesday I am raising funds to support @DayOneNY so they can educate even more people on healthy relationships. Donate by Nov. 28 using the link in bio. #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe

Join me in supporting @DayOneNY this # GivingTuesday. Together we can empower young people to identify and maintain healthy relationships! Donate by 11/28 using the link in bio.#GivingTuesday #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe #BlackFriday #CyberMonday


This #GivingTuesday I’m raising money to support @DayOneNY and their work that keeps young people safe from dating abuse and sexual assault. Please consider making a donation: ADD LINK #GivingTuesday #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe

Together we can empower young people to identify and maintain healthy relationships! This #GivingTuesday I am raising funds to support @DayOneNY so they can educate even more people on healthy relationships. Donate by Nov. 28: ADD LINK #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe

Join me in supporting @DayOneNY this #GivingTuesday. Together we can empower young people to identify and maintain healthy relationships! Donate by 11/28: ADD LINK #GivingTuesday #MyGivingStory #DayOneNY #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe


Join me in supporting @DayOneNY. Donate by 11/28 to help us reach more people in our fight to end #domesticviolence & #datingabuse this #GivingTuesday. ADD LINK

Join the #GivingTuesday movement & #donate to @DayOneNY to help end #domesticviolence & #datingabuse. ADD LINK

This #GivingTuesday I’m raising money to support @DayOneNY & their work to keep young people #safe from #datingabuse & #sexualassault. ADD LINK


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Types of Abuse

Written by Ava Mazzye

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a term used to describe harm or abuse occurring within an intimate relationship. IPV can be perpetuated by both current and former partners, and does not require sexual intimacy. One can experience or perpetrate IPV at any age, although youth aged 18-24 are most likely to experience IPV.

While there are many different ways through which IPV manifests itself, it generally falls into five main categories. Although IPV may look different from case to case, IPV always depends on power and control, and generally involves taking away the victim’s autonomy.

  1. Physical abuse can look like preventing access to an object or a space, as well as pinching, scratching, hitting, scarring, burning, pulling hair, choking or restraining. It can even look like not allowing access to necessary objects, like medicine or food. More about physical abuse can be found here.

  2. Emotional/Mental/Verbal abuse includes the use of manipulation, put-downs, blame shifting and gaslighting. An abuser typically uses manipulation and put-downs by either targeting or creating insecurities for the victim. Blame shifting refers to the classic, “I wouldn’t have hit you if you had listened to me,” where the abuser attempts to make the victim feel at fault for the violence they suffer from. Gaslighting refers to invalidating or obscuring one’s sense of reality, for example, pretending not to remember previous incidents of violence.

  3. Financial abuse involves preventing school or work attendance, or forcing work. It can also look like witholding credit cards, giving allowances, holding debt over someone’s head. Forcing work can bleed into the area of human trafficking. More about financial abuse can be found here.

  4. Technological abuse can look like excessive or unwanted texts or calls, unwanted sexting, going through one’s phone, or controlling one’s social media. It can also involve tracking a partner through apps like Find My iPhone. This type of abuse is most prominent within youth partnerships. More about technological abuse can be found here.

  5. Sexual Abuse involves pressuring or forcing or coercing someone either verbally or physically to engage in sexual acts with the abuser, or someone else. This can bleed into technological abuse, in the form “revenge porn.

Why Would Someone Stay in an Abusive Relationship?

Written by Ava Mazzye

For those who have not experienced abuse, it is difficult to understand why the survivor in an abusive relationship might stay with their abuser. However, leaving an abusive relationship is much easier said than done. Many survivors of abuse are stuck in cycles of emotional manipulation and physical or sexual violence and exploitation, which are difficult to escape from. The only people that truly understand the complexities of any given abusive relationship are those people in the relationship.

When survivors of abuse come out about their experience, they are often asked this question: “Why didn’t you just leave?” While it may be innocently intended, survivors of dating abuse may interpret this question as demeaning, and may regret coming out about their experience.

So, why don’t survivors of abuse simply leave their abusers? Well, here’s why:

On average, it takes a survivor 7-8 attempts to leave their abusive partner before it is done successfully. Domestic violence experts say that the risk of domestic homicide is at its highest when a survivor attempts to leave an abuser, because an abuser may try to escalate their power and control tactics to force a person to stay.

In youth, the issue could be all the more complicated. For example, if the people within the relationship attend the same school, the survivor may have to switch schools, which would require explaining the situation to one’s guardians. Youth dating is often stigmatized in families, making it all the more difficult for teens to tell their guardians about their experience with dating abuse.

Financial security and shelter are two things which survivors of abuse may need before even thinking of leaving an abuser. If someone cannot obtain either of these, they might have to choose between enduring abuse and homelessness. Separating from an abusive partner while maintaining financial security can involve many steps, like separating assets/bank accounts, finding housing or a way to generate income.

Emotional abuse or threats may stop someone from leaving an abusive relationship. Oftentimes, abusers do not only reserve their abuse for their romantic partners. Leaving an abuser might cause them to threaten pets or the survivor’s children as collateral.

Immigration status or language barriers also pose difficulties for a survivor of dating abuse. An undocumented individual may fear that their partner will report them if they leave the relationship, or otherwise may not report abuse for fear of contact with law enforcement. Language barriers may also hinder one from finding resources.

Isolation is also a major barrier in leaving an abuser. Abusers often utilize the tactic of isolation, pushing away the survivor’s friends and family, in order to assert control over the survivor. Without a support system, a survivor of abuse may not have the resources to leave their partner.

Finally, a person may not leave an abuser because they may not understand themselves to be in an abusive relationship. While New York City middle and high schools are required to include sexual health education in their curriculums, topics of dating abuse and unhealthy relationships are not always taught. In addition to this, youth have warped ideas of romantic relationships due to popular culture, like Romeo and Juliet, Twilight, and Fifty Shades of Grey.

The notion that leaving an abusive relationship is simple and easy contributes to the shame and isolation that survivors feel when trapped in the cycle of dating abuse.

#DVAM2017 Social Media Posting Guide

Background: Thirty years ago, October was designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) as a way to build public consciousness of a pervasive, but hidden social problem. This year, we invite you to help raise awareness of DVAM among your friends, family, and followers by tapping into your social media networks.

1. Make sure you’re following Day One on social media, if you aren't already!

2. Create DVAM content to share across your social media accounts throughout October.

  • Tell people about DVAM and its significance.

  • Share why DVAM is important to you personally, if you feel comfortable.

  • Share important statistics about dating abuse, IPV, and DV.

  • Have fun! Get creative with text, graphics, and even selfies to help generate awareness.

  • Direct people to the website for resources on how to recognize signs of dating abuse/IPV and how to get help.

  • Always mention our campaign hashtag, #LoveShouldAlwaysBeSafe, in your posts. This will help us measure campaign impact, learn, and improve upon our programs.

  • Incorporate other trending DVAM #s to help people discover your posts, e.g. #DVAM2017, #ImAnAdvocate, #WhyICare, #endDV, #NoMore, #ThisIsDV, #31n31, #DVAMTurns30, #PurpleThursday.

3. Like, share, retweet, regram Day One’s posts to help spread the word on what we’re doing. Doesn’t get easier than this!

4. Want to do more? Join people across the country during National Week of Action and share your actions on social media. Remember to include our campaign hashtag in your posts!

  • Sunday, October 15, Conversation Sunday: Start conversations about DV with friends, family, colleagues, or even your followers. Sample Talking Points.
  • Monday, October 16, Media Monday: Challenge misconceptions about DV that you’ve seen perpetuated on social media. Also, share tips for how to stay safe online.

  • Tuesday, October 17, Tie-In Tuesday: Join the national Twitter chat from 2-3 PM (ET). @DayOneNY will be a co-host, and this year’s theme is #Safety4Survivors.

  • Wednesday, October 18, Write-In Wednesday: Write a letter to the editor to call attention to and share your perspective on DV. See tips for writing an effective letter and an example letter to the editor.

  • Thursday, October 19, #PurpleThursday: Wear purple to show your support for survivors and for ending DV! Post a selfie, sharing three words for what real love means to you. For those working on the front lines of change, the color purple has come to represent courage, persistence, honor, and the commitment to ending DV.

  • Friday, October 21 - Film Friday: Host #DVMovieNight! See movie ideas and movie night conversation guide.

  • Saturday, October 22 - Shout-Out Saturday: Celebrate the people you admire who speak out for survivors and use their voices to make a difference.

Value in Variety: Reflection on Day One’s You(th) Already Know! Conference

Written by Eleanor Crawford

I first heard about Day One’s You(th) Already Know! Conference during a phone interview I had for an internship at Day One.  I was already excited about the position, but became even more enthusiastic after learning that part of my job would be helping to plan a youth centered conference on intimate partner violence (IPV).  Day One’s dedication to include youth as participants in the conference, but also to empower them through leadership, education and creative input opportunities felt inspiring!  

Once I started working on the conference, my excitement grew as the specifics came together (finding a caterer caused an especially notable amount of excitement).  When we made decisions about which workshops to include, we realized that we had received an incredible variety of workshop proposals.  We had always intended to offer a diverse selection of lessons, but receiving so many unique submissions made it possible.  The featured topics didn’t cater to one type of person, but instead catered to the diverse interests of NYC youth.  How cool is it that we were able to include a lesson on “Domestic Violence and Immigration,” as well as the lesson “‘Oh My God, Becky:’ How Body Policing, ‘Thot’ Culture and Other Forms of Misogyny Impact Teens” at the same time during the conference?!  We thought it was pretty cool.

As a part of my Community Education Internship, I created a workshop to present at the conference titled: “From Flirting to Sex: The Importance of Consent in Every Stage of a Relationship.”  Workshops at the conference were supposed to discuss the intersections of IPV and other identity-based oppressions.  During a workshop brainstorming session I came up with the idea of exploring the connection between dating abuse and other issues I’m passionate about.  I’ve done a lot of work around consent and sexual harassment in school, which is why I chose to focus on sexual violence in relationships.  During the conference I led discussions and activities that got participants thinking about how getting consent is not thought of as part of flirting, starting a relationship, being in a relationship or having sex, when it really needs to be.  I was also able to discuss sexual abuse, as well as elements of power and control, because of what I learned at Day One.  The workshop had many moments where participants and I were talking about different norms in relationships and exclaiming, “how do people think this is okay?!”  (It was great though, because we then got to go deeper into this and actually talk about what makes people believe those things are okay and generate ways we can change that.)

The You(th) Already Know! Conference gave me an opportunity to combine multiple issues in order to educate an audience on a complex topic.  My internship with Day One has expanded my knowledge on IPV exponentially, which was very beneficial to my workshop and will continue to impact me throughout my career.  When I first started at Day One, I thought that coming in without extensive knowledge of dating violence would make me a less valuable employee.  The conference helped me to see that this is not the case at all!  I observed how valuable it was to have workshops on many different topics and saw that my workshop contributed to this variety.  The specificity of my knowledge, just like the expertise of every other amazing conference presenter, added resources to the day that wouldn’t have been there if everyone had taught an overview on IPV.  Day One is special because the organization brings together people with different experiences and focuses who have the shared intention of combating dating violence, which was especially apparent at the You(th) Already Know! Conference this May.