Keeping safe

Keeping safe

Deciding what to do can take time. You may wish to involve the police, talk to Refuge, or end your relationship. Whatever you decide, your safety is always most important.


Refuge runs a range of services which can help keep you and your children safe, from refuges and advocacy to community-based schemes.

Call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247 if you need to find a space in a refuge.


If you’re still living with your abuser, think about how to protect yourself and your children:

  • Be ready to call 999 if you or your children are in danger
  • Make notes of abusive incidents, including times, dates, names and details of injuries – these can be important if you need to access legal and welfare rights
  • Keep some money and a set of keys in a safe place
  • Find out about your legal and housing rights – talk to a solicitor
  • Keep copies of important papers (passports, birth certificates, court orders, marriage certificate) in a safe place
  • Carry a list of emergency numbers: police, relatives, friends, Refuge
  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse
  • Make calls from a phone box or a friend’s house
  • Report any injuries to your GP so there is a record of the abuse
  • Talk to family and friends about staying with them in an emergency
  • Think about escape routes


Looking after yourself is important. Do something you enjoy. Taking time to read a book, walk in the park or listen to some music can help you feel more able to deal with what is happening. Above all, remember that the abuse is not your fault.


If you’ve left your partner, but are still in danger:

  • Change the locks, and put locks on windows
  • Ask the police for advice about making your home more secure
  • Think about escape routes
  • Tell school who can pick up your children and who cannot
  • Report injuries to your GP so there is a record of the abuse
  • See a solicitor. They can make you aware of your rights and help you get a court order to protect you from your partner