Safety planning for leaving an abusive relationship
You may not feel able to leave immediately, but you can plan for leaving so that you are prepared if an emergency does arise. Leaving is often the most dangerous time.
To increase your safety you can:
- Ensure that all important documents are kept together, including items of sentimental value, so they can be grabbed in a hurry.
- Put aside money for travel and other expenses.
- Only tell people you trust where you are or will be. Lie if you have to – this will protect them and you.
Things to take with you:
- ID – Passport, birth/marriage certificate, National Insurance number, driving licence.
- Money – cheque book, bank & credit cards, benefit books.
- Medical – prescribed medicines, prescriptions, medical cards, vaccination certificates.
- Legal – injunction/divorce papers, mortgage documents.
- Special Items – child’s favourite toy, photos, jewellery.
Safety once the relationship has ended
Unfortunately, abuse may not end even when your partner has left the shared home.
In order to increase your safety you can:
- Let trusted friends and neighbours know that you are no longer together and that they should call the police if they see your partner trying to get into the house.
- Change the locks on your doors, ensure that doors and windows are as secure as possible and use the chain when answering the door.
- More expensive options are to install security lighting, which switches on when someone approaches, and burglar alarms.
- A sanctuary scheme referral may be possible for making adjustments to your home, please contact us to find out more.
For information on making security adaptations to your home, please contact us.
- Tell people who look after your children – for example teachers – which people have permission to collect them and if your ex-partner is not permitted to do so.
- Change your phone number and at work ask people to screen your calls.
- Change your shopping, travel and social habits. For example shop elsewhere and at different times and take a different route home.
- If you feel threatened at any time call 999.