If you are concerned about your relationship please talk to the police, attend your local One Stop Shop or call our RAISE Team on 07718657160. This will enable you to seek advice about possible legal protection, housing, benefits, family support and make an informed decision about your future.
Whist you can't stop your partner's violence and abuse, there are things you can do to increase your own and your children's safety. A safety plan helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.
Below are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children in the event of further violence or abuse.
If you are still in the relationship:
- Tell someone you trust what is going on
- Teach your children how to call 999 and how to ask for help
- Arrange a safe place to go in case you need to leave suddenly
- Consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone and hiding it in case you need it in an emergency
- Make several copies of important papers. Give one copy to a trusted friend or leave them at work
- Proof or your identity – driving license, passport, birth certificates
- Financial/insurance information
- Benefit books or letters
- Court orders
- Make extra sets of important keys and hide them where you can get them if you need to, for example leave a spare set of car keys with a friend.
- Prepare a bag of essentials for yourself and your children. Clothing, medications and documents. Hide the bag where you can get it in a hurry if you need to leave quickly.
- Practice how you would leave home safely in an emergency
- Trust your own instincts, they are very likely to be correct
If you decide to leave:
There may come a time when you decide you need to leave the relationship. If this time comes it is important to know that there may be an increased risk of harm from your partner if they suspect your plans. It is therefore important that you plan what you will do, where you will go and who you should tell.
- Plan to leave the house when your partner is out, ideally for some time
- Take your children with you and consider informing someone at the School of the situation
- Try to take the essentials mentioned above with you, including documentation for yourself and your children
- Take something both yourself and your children care about (toys, photos or other items)
- Tell someone you trust your plans
- Change the privacy settings and location service on your phone or consider changing your number
- If you have not already done so, you can call a specialist service like Oasis for advice
Information on digital stalking is not designed to scare you or to make you feel that you have to limit how much time you spend on the computer or on your phone. It's here to help you identify the potential risks and work to help you minimise and manage any that apply to you.
If you would like to learn about staying safe online - whilst on facebook or apps like snapchat you can read more here.