Planning to leave

Planning to leave

If you have decided to leave your partner, Refuge can help you and your children to stay safe.


Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous. Your partner may feel like he has lost control over you – and he may resort to more extreme measures to regain that control.

Make sure you plan your departure safely. Call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247 to talk through your options or to find a space in a refuge.


It will help if you can take with you things from this list. Only do this if you’re sure it is safe to do so.

  • Identification and important papers (e.g. birth certificates, passports, benefit books, bank account details, medical cards, court orders, marriage certificate)
  • Money
  • Phone numbers – emergency and personal
  • Spare set of house and car keys
  • Medicines and toiletries
  • Clothes for a few days
  • A few of your children’s favourite toys
  • Proof of the abuse (e.g. notes, photos, crime reference numbers, diary, taped messages)
  • If there is a residency or parental order in place, consult a solicitor before leaving, or as soon as possible afterwards. Leave a note saying that you have left with the children, that they are safe, and that the solicitor will contact the non-resident parent in the near future. Keep a copy of the note