If you are living with the abuser, there are a number of important things you can be doing to help keep yourself safer.

This is not an exhaustive list, and can depend on the individual situation. But thinking about your safety plan and what you could do in an emergency can help to ensure that you (and any children) are as safe as possible while you are still living in an abusive relationship. These suggestions won’t stop the abuse, but you can try to keep yourself and your children as safe as possible. We strongly advise you to contact our specialist Domestic Abuse Service who can support you to keep safe.

Here are some suggestions for planning how you would respond to different situations to maximise your safety. Talk this over with someone if you can, ideally our Domestic Abuse Service.

  • Keep important and emergency numbers with you or saved as phone contacts (eg JWA, your GP, your children's school).
  • Teach your children to dial 999 in an emergency.
  • Make sure children know their address, or a safe place to run if there is an incident.
  • If you can trust neighbours or friends nearby, tell them what is going on and ask them to call the police if they hear anything suspicious. You could agree a code word or signal to alert them to call the police.
  • Rehearse your escape route from each room in the house.
  • Avoid being alone with the perpetrator in rooms that could be difficult to escape from. Where this is unavoidable, try to go to another room when an argument starts or if you feel scared.
  • Try to avoid being alone with the perpetrator in rooms that have things that could be used as weapons (eg kitchen or shed, which may have knives).
  • Document the abuse if you feel it is safe to do so - keep a diary of incidents if you can.
  • Speak to your doctor or report incidents to the police as this can be used as evidence later if you need it.
  • Be prepared to leave in an emergency.
  • Keep your phone with you all the time (wear clothes with pockets).
  • Pack an emergency bag and leave it in a safe place (with friends or neighbours).
  • Try to set aside a small amount of money, perhaps in a separate bank account, if it is safe to do so.

It is a stressful and daunting time, but our Domestic Abuse Service can help guide you through it, and will support you.

“Had I not contacted JWA things would have been very bad.  Things would be hell – I could have been killed.  The reason why I moved on was because JWA supported me to do that.  They have helped to build my confidence and enable me to cope with things to make a change in my life.”