keeping safe 685Keeping safe

Deciding what to do can take time. You may wish to involve the police or talk to Refuge. It is important to access support, particularly if you are considering leaving your partner.

Refuge runs a range of services which can help keep you and your children safe, from refuges to community-based schemes to independent advocates who can support you through the criminal justice system.  No matter what your experience of violence (domestic violence, sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honour’-based violence, FGM, human trafficking and modern slavery) – our team of experts are here to support you.

A useful first step is to call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid, on 0808 2000 247. A Helpline worker will support you, in confidence, to work through your options.

  • 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 copies of abusive text messages, emails and letters
  • Keep some money and a set of keys in a safe place
  • Find out about your legal and housing rights – talk to a solicitor if possible
  • Explore what civil or criminal options might be available to you, including restraining orders and injunctions such as non-molestation and occupation orders (which can ban a perpetrator from your home)
  • 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, the National Domestic Violence Helpline
  • 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 safe escape routes

Above all, remember the abuse is not your fault and Refuge is here to support you.

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 on 0808 2000 247 to talk through your options in confidence.

For more information on what you should try and take with you, click here.

  • 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
  • See a solicitor. They can make you aware of your rights and help you get a court order to protect you from your partner. For support with legal options, click here.