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Council Services:

Leaving an abusive relationship

If planning to leave it is a good idea to get support from a specialist domestic abuse agency, the police or a solicitor. They will help explore the risk of further harm and the options available to you.

Here is some helpful information to help you stay safe when ending an abusive relationship:

  • Consider contacting your local council to assist with security (link to Housing page)
  • Carry a panic alarm
  • Install security systems including additional locks, burglar alarms etc.
  • Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for each floor of your house
  • Install an outside lighting system that lights up when a person comes near the house
  • Inform neighbours/family that your partner no longer lives with you, and/or show a picture of your partner so that they can inform you if they see him near your home and/or contact the police
  • Ask for an unlisted number or dial 141 before dialling a persons number on the telephone so that your number is unobtainable by that person
  • Have easy access to a telephone within the house
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers by you at all times
  • Use an answering machine to screen all calls
  • Keep a copy of any civil injunctions in case you need to produce these for the Police in an emergency

Sometimes the only way to stay safe is to leave home. If this applies to you it is worth considering the following if planning to leave:

  • Keep with you any useful telephone numbers or try to learn them
  • Photocopy or know where important documents are such as marriage and birth certificates, passports, financial papers.
  • Open a savings account in your own name to establish your independence. Make sure the bank has a safe address to contact you
  • Try and get an extra set of keys cut for the house, car etc. and leave them together with an extra set of clothes for you and your children in a bag, and leave it with a trusted neighbour, friend or keep it in a safe place.
  • Decide who you could stay with, and if the need arises, who would lend you some money.
  • Try and keep some spare change, phone card, mobile phone charger etc. with you at all times for emergencies. Keep spare change for taxis and bus fares if needed.
  • Arrange to leave when your partner is not around.
  • Keep all medicines for you and your children together in a box.

In a crisis situation your safety is vital. If you are planning to leave, you may want to take the following:

  • Driver’s License
  • Car Registration
  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Your Birth Certificate
  • Rent or mortgage and benefit papers
  • House Keys
  • Passport
  • Injunctions/solicitors Papers
  • Money
  • Jewellery
  • Toiletries
  • Clothes - You and your Children
  • Medication
  • Photographs

Tips and information to help you stay safe:

  • Make sure your home is secure
  • Inform your employer about your situation
  • Consider where your wages/benefits are paid to
  • Consider getting protection on your National Insurance Numbers, Electoral Role
  • Plan safe routes home from work and vary them, and use different modes of transport
  • Think about what you would do if something happened while you were on your way home
  • Do not go out alone, especially if going out of the building
  • Avoid usual routines e.g. shopping times and places
  • Choose a different bank to go to - cancel shared cards and accounts
  • Keep any court orders with you
  • Keep a mobile phone with you if possible and make sure it is charged up. Consider changing the sim card if you experiencing ongoing harassment (you should consider saving any evidence of harassment on your phone and reporting this to the police)
  • Make sure that a person or organisation does not pass on your name or address

Making a decision to leave a violent and abusive partner can be the beginning of a long process. Remember that you do not have to go through it alone.

  • Why do people stay

    Why do people stay

    There are many reasons why people can not or do not leave abusive relationships. Domestic abuse is a complex issue and unique to everyone.

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Last updated: 8 September 2014

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