If you're living in an abusive situation, you might not always be able to predict what's going to happen next. This unpredictability can be frightening so it's best to try to have a plan in place in case your situation becomes more dangerous.
Safety planning means thinking about what you already do to avoid abuse and developing a plan of action if things get more dangerous and you feel you have to leave your home. Here are some steps you can take:
- always carry with you a list of emergency numbers
- get an extra set of keys cut for your home and car
- keep the keys and a set of clothes for you and your children packed and ready. Leave them somewhere safe, perhaps with a trusted friend or relative
- keep documents - birth certificates, benefit books and passports - somewhere safe, ready to take
- try to save a small amount of money for bus, train or taxi fares
If you have time to plan ahead
If there is more time to plan, try to follow as many of these steps as possible:
- leave when your partner is not around
- take all the children with you
- take all important legal papers and documents
- take any personal possessions that have sentimental value
- take any medicines you or your children might need
- take clothing to last several days
- arrange for pets to be cared for - a local animal charity may be able to help
Are you experiencing domestic abuse?
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, it is important to remember that it is not your fault, and that you do not have live through it in silence and on your own. You are entitled to live your life free from fear. Go to our page on help for people experiencing domestic abuse for details on the many people and organisations whom you can turn to for help and advice.