Safety measures

Practical safety measures to give to someone experiencing domestic abuse.

Plan in advance how to respond in different situations, including crisis situations.

Think about the different options that may be available.

Keep to hand any important and emergency telephone numbers, for example:

  • your local Women's Aid refuge organisation or other domestic violence service
  • the police domestic violence unit
  • GP
  • social worker
  • children's school
  • solicitor;
  • the freephone 24 hour per day Derbyshire Domestic Abuse helpline.

Teach the children to tel: 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say, for example their full name, address and telephone number.

Is there a neighbour that can be trusted, and where the person could go in an emergency? If so, tell the neighbour what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.

Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency the person and the children can get away safely.

Pack an emergency bag for themselves and their children, and hide it somewhere safe, for example at a neighbour's or friend's house. Try to avoid mutual friends or family.

Try to keep a small amount of money to hand at all times, including change for the phone and for bus fares.

Know where the nearest phone is and if the person has a mobile phone, try to keep it with them.

If the person suspects that their partner is about to attack them, 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.

Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.