Recognising that you are being abused is an important step. Where you go from here is up to you. You may feel you need time to think about your situation. Or perhaps you have already made up your mind to leave. Whatever you decide, your safety is always the priority.
Not everyone will want or choose to leave an abusive partner. Staying safe from domestic violence involves taking sensible precautions. This information may help you stay safe from domestic violence or be prepared if you decide to leave:
- If you plan to stay at home it is wise to have an escape plan in case of emergencies, but if you decide to leave in a hurry call our helpline
- Call the police in an emergency – they will help
- See a doctor when you are injured; consider keeping a record of violent incidents and photographing bruises and injuries in case you decide to prosecute in future
- See a solicitor as soon as you can if you think you may need an injunction
- Is there a friend you can trust and can go to in an emergency?
- If you are not living with your abuser, make sure that all the door and window locks and lights (inside and out) work properly
- Install a panic alarm if you can
- Keep money for a payphone/taxi and ensure your mobile phone is charged and has credit
- Change your phone number if you are getting threatening calls
- If you receive abusive text messages – save them – they’re useful evidence
If your abuser contacts you at work, tell your boss and colleagues; ask them to call the police in an emergency, also:
- Your personnel officer or Union representative may be able to help you
- Teach your children what to do in an emergency, help them make a safety plan too
- Keep a bag packed with the things listed in our refuges leaflet