If you need to leave home to protect yourself and your children, it helps to plan in advance so that you will be ready and prepared to stay safe if that time comes.
Thinking about different situations or patterns can help you to plan. If you need to leave, when will be the best time? Maybe your partner works, goes to the gym or to the pub. Knowing patterns in how they spend their time can help with your planning.
- Make sure that you have all the important documents and telephone numbers you need close to hand.
- Do your children know how to ring 999 in an emergency? If not, teach them what they would need to say (full name, address and phone number).
- If you’re close to your neighbours, it might be a good idea to tell them about what is happening and ask them to call the police if they hear that you or your children are at risk of harm.
- Pack an emergency bag and hide it somewhere safe (such as with a neighbour or at a friend's house). Make sure that you have some form of identification, some money including change, medication, clothing, important documents and any sentimental items you want to keep safe.
Thinking about leaving and making the decision to go can be a long and difficult process. If leaving isn’t an option for you right now, think about how you can stay safer in your home.
If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to stay away from the kitchen or the garage (where there are likely to be things that could be used as weapons) and stay close to a door in case you need to make a quick exit.
More information on safety plans and preparing to leave can be found on the Women’s Aid website.