Things you can do if you're in an abusive relationship

Steps you can take to help keep yourself safe if you are in an abusive relationship.

There are things you can do to help keep yourself safe:

  • keep important phone numbers to hand for you and your children
  • tell friends or neighbours about the abuse - ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises
  • practice ways to get out of your home quickly and safely
  • keep safe places in your home where there are exits and no weapons.

If you are thinking about leaving your abusive partner consider:

  • who you will phone during a crisis
  • agreeing a ‘code word’ you can use to indicate your fears to the police or other services
  • keeping your mobile phone fully charged and topped up at all times
  • identifying where you will make an emergency call if you don’t have your mobile
  • keeping the car filled up with petrol
  • keeping spare car and home keys within easy reach or by your escape route
  • rehearsing an escape route with children and teaching them how to phone the police
  • where you will tell children to run to for safety during an attack
  • identifying where and when you are most vulnerable to an attack
  • planning how you can increase your safety at these times.

Keep an escape bag

Organise an escape bag which you can keep by your escape route or with someone you trust. It should include:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • benefits book
  • driving licence
  • NI number.

Also pack a change of clothes, snacks, spare money and a list of important phone numbers. Include items you feel you can’t live without, such as your children’s favourite toys, photos and keepsakes.

In an emergency always call the police on 999.

Last updated:
2 November 2022
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