If someone is harming you, you might not feel that you can leave for a lot of reasons. There are people who can support you to leave, but if that's not right for you at the moment, the most important thing is to keep you (and anyone else affected by the abuse, like children) safe.
To protect yourself, there are some things you could try to make situations safer for you and your children (if you have them).
Please note that the information provided in this section is general guidance.
It is always recommended that anyone seeking support with safety planning should contact a specialist service to discuss their own specific and unique circumstances.
Staying at home
- If you think that a situation may be getting violent, try to move/keep out of the kitchen or anywhere where there may be objects that can be used as weapons.
- In a violent situation try to stay away from rooms that can be locked.
- In a violent situation try to stay away from the bathroom.
- Keep external and internal doors clear and uncluttered in case you need to run.
- Be prepared to leave the building quickly if you have to.
- Know exactly where you are heading if you leave the building - a neighbour for example.
- Always dial 999 if you feel you are in immediate danger.
- Teach the children to dial 999 and to give their names and the address of where you are.
- If you can trust them, ask the neighbours to call the police if they hear sounds of an attack taking place.
Staying at home when an abuser has moved out
- If the police have removed an abuser from home, they may be able to put a Domestic Violence Protection Order in place. This is time limited but aims to keep the offender away for up to 30 days.
- It may be appropriate to apply for an injunction which aims to stop the abuser from contacting you and from being in certain places, including your home address.
- Keep any documents relating to court orders, injunctions, medical reports etc.
- Consider changing the locks and adding window locks.
- Install smoke alarms and security lights.
- Change your telephone number(s).
- Think very carefully about how you use social media and what information you're sharing online.
- Keep a diary of where and when you see your abuser – this will form evidence if they are in breach of any injunction or court order and whether they might be stalking you.
- Keep evidence of any damage they might do to your property or injury caused to yourself.
- If you use a usual route at a particular time, think about changing times and routes.
- Consider changing GP surgery & dental practice for yourself and your children.
- Be prepared to phone 999 if you or your children feel threatened.
Regardless of whether you are planning to stay or leave, be aware of how technology could be used to abuse, track or control you. This quick guide to Staying Safe Online has some useful tips. Checking permissions on apps regularly is a good way to be aware of how they can be used.