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Safety Plans

First Steps for Domestic Abuse Victims – Protect Yourself!
There are lots of simple and practical ways to help people who are experiencing domestic violence (abuse), these are known as safety plans.

Below are some suggestions of the type of information that might be useful.

 

For those still living in an abusive relationship

  • Move to a safer room if you anticipate violence – avoid the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Plan an escape route from every room in the house and have a place to go in an emergency
  • Keep a list of important phone numbers e.g. police, solicitor, refuge etc
  • Have your keys and money in a safe and accessible place so that they can be found in a hurry
  • If you have neighbours or friends you can trust, let them know about your situation and ask them to phone the police if they hear suspicious noises
  • Create “code words” for friends and children so that they know when to call for help and/or leave dangerous areas.
  • Talk to children about what is happening and encourage them to call for help and not to intervene

You may also want to consider keeping a record of incidents to support any future action, legal advice can be sought and there is often a free initial appointment with solicitors. Important documents e.g. birth certificates, passport, national insurance number, photos of children can be put in a safe place that is easily accessible or left with friends/family.

For those planning to leave

This may not happen immediately, you can plan leaving so that when an emergency arises you have important documents, photo’s and other items of sentimental value in a hidden but easily accessible place.

  • ID – passport, NI number etc
  • Money – bank cards, credit cards, benefit book etc
  • Medical – prescriptions, medication
  • Legal – injunction, divorce papers, mortgage document, tenancy agreement
  • Money put aside to help with travel and/or other expenses
  • Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children and rehearse an escape plan
  • Know where the nearest phone is and ensure your mobile is charged
  • Only tell people you can trust where you are going, remember you may need to withhold this information to protect them as well as you.

When a relationship has ended

  • Let people know you are no longer together and that they should call the police if they see your ex-partner trying to get into the house.
  • Change locks; ensure that doors and windows are secure
  • Tell people who look after your children e.g. teachers which people have permission to collect them
  • Change your phone number and if needed screen your calls, this may also apply to your workplace
  • Change your shopping, travel, social habits e.g. shop elsewhere and at different times, take a different route home.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CALL 999