Having your own safety plan can help you protect yourself and your children. It helps you plan what you might do in the case of future abuse and can help you to think about how you can increase your safety.
In an emergency, always call the police on 999
Here are some of the things you can consider that might increase your safety:
- Plan in advance how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations.
- Think about the different options that may be available to you.
- Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers (e.g. Fearless support worker, Domestic abuse helplines; your GP; your social worker, if you have one; your children’s school; your solicitor and so on)
- Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number).
- Think about where you might go in an emergency. Are there neighbours you could trust? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they are concerned about your safety.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely. Think about the safest routes in and out of your house.
- Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hide it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour’s or friend’s house).
- Try to keep a small amount of money on you at all times – including change for the phone and for bus fares.
- Know where the nearest phone is, and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you.
- Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.
- If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone. Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons; and avoid rooms where you might be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
What to pack if you are planning to leave your partner
You may wish to consider taking the following documents with you if you are planning to leave your partner:
- A form of identification.
- Birth certificates for you and your children.
- Passports (including passports for all your children), visas and work permits.
- Money, bankbooks, cheque book and credit and debit cards.
- Keys for house, car, and place of work. (You could get an extra set of keys cut, and put them in your emergency bag.)
- Cards for payment of Child Benefit and any other welfare benefits you are entitled to.
- Driving licence (if you have one) and car registration documents, if applicable.
- Prescribed medication.
- Copies of documents relating to your housing tenure (for example, mortgage details or lease and rental agreements).
- Insurance documents, including national insurance number.
- Address book.
- Family photographs, your diary, jewellery, small items of sentimental value.
- Clothing and toiletries for you and your children.
- Your children’s favourite small toys.
Protecting yourself if you stay in your home
If you are able to stay at home, you may wish to consider the following to keep yourself as safe as possible:
- Changing the locks on all doors.
- Putting locks on all windows if you don’t have them already.
- Installing smoke detectors on each floor, and providing fire extinguishers.
- Installing an outside light (back and front) which comes on automatically when someone approaches.
- Changing your telephone number and making it ex-directory.
- Using an answering machine to screen calls.
- Keeping copies of all court orders together with dates and times of previous incidents and call-outs for reference if you need to call the police again.
If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read the following safety information.
As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images from websites visited, information entered into search engines and a trail (‘history’) that reveals the sites you have visited.
All leading web browsers have a “private browsing” mode that, once enabled, stores nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window. This won’t stop online services from seeing what you get up to, but it won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s always a useful first step to take.
- Internet Explorer: Go to Safety – Tools – “InPrivate Browsing”.
- Firefox: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines – “New Private Window”.
- Chrome: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines and select “New Incognito Window”.
Similar options can be found in Opera and Safari.
Don’t forget to log out
If you use our Survivor’s Forum, don’t forget to log out of your account when you have finished your browsing session so no one else can log in as you.
If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.
All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.
National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline – Women’s Aid and Refuge
0808 2000 247
Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 027 1234
LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline –
0300 999 5428
10am – 8pm Monday
Abused Men In Scotland
Mon – Friday 9am to 4pm
Rape Crisis Scotland
0808 801 0302
6pm – midnight
The Men’s advice line
0808 801 0327
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
FGM Helpline -NSPCC
0800 028 3550
Forced marriage unit
020 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Global Response Centre
020 7008 1500
Out of working hours e.g. 5pm – 9am
Support line – IKWRO
07846 275 246 (Arabic/ Kurdish)
Mon to Fri 9.30-5.30pm
24 hours out-of-hours emergencies – Farsi/Dari/Turkish)
Muslim Community Helpline
020 8904 8193 or 020 8908 6715.
Helpline – Karma Nirvana
0800 5999 247
National Stalking Helpline
0300 636 0300
(Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 9.30am – 4pm and Wed 1pm – 4pm)