Keeping Safe

You can’t stop your partner’s abuse – that’s down to them – but you can take steps to keep yourself and your family safe.

If you are living with your abuser...

  • Keep important numbers with you at all times. These might include your doctor, your children’s school and any other trusted people.

  • Call a helpline in advance to get advice on your options if you decide to leave in a hurry.

  • Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency and make sure they know the information they’ll need to tell the operator including their name, address and phone number.

  • Keep a little money handy and your phone charged.

  • If violence seems imminent, avoid rooms without doors to the outside.

Two women holding hands across a desk in a supportive way.

Think about whether there is a friend or neighbour you trust who you could go to.

If you decide to leave...

 
 
Some pens next to an open notebook. 'Emergency escape plan' has been written across the page.
  • Plan to leave at a time when you know your partner won’t be around.

  • Take your children with you. If they’re at school make sure the school knows what is happening and who will be collecting them in future.

  • Try to take everything you need with you.

  • If at all possible try to set aside a small amount of money each week or even open a separate bank account before you leave.

Have a plan in mind as this can be a particularly dangerous time.

 

If you're not living with your abuser...

  • Make sure that all the door and window locks and lights (inside and out) work properly.

  • Install an alarm, security camera and other security devices if you can.

  • Change your phone number if you are getting threatening calls.

  • If your abuser contacts you at work, tell trusted members of your team about the situation. Ask them to call the police in an emergency.

  • Your HR manager or union rep at work may be able to help you.

Dark lighting. A young woman stood next to a window looking closely at a smartphone. Her expression is concerned.

If your abuser sends you abusive messages, save them – they could be useful evidence.

 

If you've already left...

A father walking down the street with his young daughter.
  • You could still be at risk so take precautions.​

  • Change your routine.

  • Avoid areas you used to visit with your abuser.

  • Choose safe routes between locations.

  • Let childcare providers know they’re not to release the children to anyone else without your agreement.

In an emergency...

  • Call the police immediately and file a report about any threatening behaviour, violent incidents, criminal damage, stalking or harassment.

  • See a doctor if you are injured. Consider keeping a record of any incidents and photographing bruises and injuries in case you decide to prosecute in the future.

  • See a solicitor as soon as you can if you think you may need an injunction.

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If you think you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, help is available.

 

You can reach the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline by phone on 08000 198 668 or by text on 07534 617 252. They can provide discreet emotional and practical support.

You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate danger try to get to a safe part of the house or a safe place outside and call the police on 999.