Safety Planning Guide

When you are ready to leave, plan in advance to ensure that you are prepared. This means practically, emotionally and financially. Think about all the various scenarios you might find yourself in and have a plan for each one. Think of all the options available to you. Also make sure that you plan your escape route in advance. The following provides information on how to set up a safety plan. Please be aware that some of these options may be possible for you, some may not.

Do not do anything that you feel could compromise your safety or your children’s safety. Remember if you do not have time to follow the safety plan & find yourself in immediate danger call 999.

Emmergency Telephone Numbers

Identify your nearest telephone box should you need to use it in an emergency. Always keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers:

  • Your GP
  • Your social worker, if you have one
  • Your children’s school
  • Your solicitor
  • Your office
  • The FREE 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 08082 000 247
  • The Haven’s FREE 24 Hour Helpline: 08000 194 400

Before you leave

Consider creating an escape fund. This will be useful should you need to leave your home in a hurry. It will also prepare you should you need to access alternative accommodation for you and your children. You can create an emergency fund by putting aside small amounts of money that will not be missed by your partner and will not raise an alarm.

In cases where your funds are controlled and you and your children are in danger, and need to leave immediately, you can also ask a friend, family member or someone you trust if you can lend some money in case of an emergency. Alternatively, you can apply for a crisis loan from your local benefits office – for more information visit www.advice.org.uk

Know your people

Think of someone you can trust and let them know. Make sure it is someone you feel sure you can rely on not to disclose any information to the perpetrator. Consider arranging a code word or sign which will alert a friend or a family member to call the Police. If you trust your neighbour – ask them to call the Police if they hear a disturbance.

Talk to your children

If applicable, talk to your children, teach them how to call 999 and how to give their full name, address and telephone number should they need to use it in an emergency.

Pack a bag

If possible, pack an emergency bag – hide it in a safe place with a friend or a family member you can trust. This can include:

  • Change of clean clothes & toiletries
  • Medication
  • Keys
  • Passports
  • Details of benefits & other important documents (NI Number, Driving License)
  • Pay slips, Debit Cards, Credit Cards,
  • Details of any bills that are in your name
  • Documentation relating to the ownership of your home, mortgage or tenancy.

If you are unable to access original documents, or you think your partner may notice that the documents are missing, you could take photocopies of the originals, email yourself or someone you trust images of them or alternatively note down the relevant reference numbers. To avoid any suspicion, we suggest gathering items for your escape over an extended period. Remember to leave your bag in a place where your partner is not likely to look for it.

Avoid dangerous areas

Know your area and try to avoid risk areas like the kitchen or garage where there may be knives or anything that can be used as a weapon. Remember if you find yourself in danger & do not have time to follow a safety plan PLEASE CALL 999.

Ready to leave?

When the time comes to leave be sure to know where it is you need to go – will you be staying with a friend, family member or in refuge? Try to leave when your partner will not be around to avoid him/her trying to stop you. This could be whilst your partner is out of the house socialising or at work.

If the last number you dialled was a taxi, refuge or the place you intend to travel to, dial another number – for example, the Speaking Clock (dial 123). Do not leave pieces of paper with names, numbers or addresses on them. Remember that writing can be imprinted through more than one page on a jotter/note pad.

Remember if you do not have time to follow the safety plan & find yourself in immediate danger call 999.
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