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A guide for victims and survivors of domestic abuse

Safety planning guide [external link] from SafeLives 

Safety plan [external link] from IDAS

National Domestic Abuse Helpline for England offers 24-hour support on telephone

Remember it is not your fault and you deserve to feel safe


  • 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, and the National Domestic Abuse 24 hour Helpline on telephone or website to access live chat Monday to Friday 3:00 - 10:00pm
  • 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

Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous.

Your partner may feel like they have lost control over you and may resort to more extreme measures to regain that control.

There are services to support you to leave safely. Visit the 'getting support' page on this website.

Only takes the following items if 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, emails, texts)

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.

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