In an emergency always call the police on 999
Having your own safety plan can help you plan how to increase yours and your children safety. It can help you consider what you can do to protect yourself within the relationship, if you want to leave the relationship or if you have already left. Here are some of the things you could consider.
Keeping safe at home
- Think about the security on your house, things like external lights and locks on windows. Contact Sanctuary scheme for help with this.
- Make sure you have smoke detectors fitted.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely. Think about the safest routes in and out of your house.
- Always have a phone that is charged and has credit on.
- Consider a safe room in your house with a lockable door.
- If you have a neighbour you trust tell them about the situation and any risks.
- Take legal advice about injunctions.
- Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.
- Ask for a police flag to be put on your property if you are having ongoing problems or there is an increase in risk.
- If you are at high risk in your home, you could consider looking at alternative accommodation.
Keeping safe out and about
This could be keeping safe at work/school/college or when you are out and about shopping or socialising.
- Tell key people about what’s going on.
- Change your daily routine.
- Stay away from areas the perpetrator might be in.
- Have important phone numbers with you.
If you think the perpetrator is following or stalking you, or if they are getting someone else to stalk or follow you, report this to the police. Keep a record of what is happening so you can give details to the police. You can also get legal advice from a solicitor and consider an injunction.
Keeping safe on your phone and online
- Change your telephone number and be careful who you share it with.
- Check that your phone does not have spyware or tracking devices on.
- Black list numbers.
- Check that your social network does not have a location set on it.
- Change your face book pass word.
- Block people on social networks
If you are receiving threatening or abusive text messages, voice mails or emails save them and you can report these to the police. You can also seek legal advice for injunctions.
Preparing to leave
Thinking about leaving an abusive relationship whether the abuse is from your partner or family member can be difficult. Planning to leave does not mean you have to leave immediately. If you do decide to leave having a plan in place will make it safer and easier.
- Plan to leave when the perpetrator is not around.
- Make sure you have somewhere safe to go.
- Make sure you have transport to get you there or money to pay for public transport.
- Start to store belongings with friends or family.
- Only tell people you absolutely trust.
- Put money to one side in preparation.
Make sure you have
- ID i.e. passport, driving license, birth certificate, and children’s birth certificates.
- Important documents i.e. immigration, adoption, name change, legal.
- Money i.e. bank cards, letters from benefits, wage slips, mortgage or tenancy paper work.
- Medication, prescriptions, details of due medical issues or appointments.
- Any evidence of the abuse.
- Small valuables i.e. jewellery, camera, laptop, mobile phone.
- Things of sentimental value i.e. photos.
- Children’s favorite toys/ belongings.
- Clothes, prioritise shoes and warm clothes.
- Baby food/nappies.
- Cot bedding for baby or infant.
- Pushchair and child’s car seat.
If you are leaving because you or your children are at immediate risk, contact the police for support. Try to take your ID documents, bank cards and any medication you or your children need. Your safety is the most important. Once you have left it is usually possible to get support from the police to safely return to your house to collect other belongings.
For advice, support, information and access to safe accommodation you can contact PDVG on our 24hr confidential helpline 0800 052 7222 where you can talk to a specialist domestic abuse worker.