Making a safety plan

A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children.

It 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.

How to keep yourself safe

You can’t stop your partner’s violence and abuse – only they can do that.
But there are things you can do to increase your own and your children’s safety. You’re probably already doing some things to protect yourself and your children – for example, there may be a pattern to the violence which may enable you to plan ahead to increase your safety.

Plan responses

Plan in advance how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations.

Consider options

Think about the different options that may be available to you.

Be prepared to leave

Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.

Teach children 999

Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number).

Neighbourly help?

Are there neighbours you could trust, and whom you could go to in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.

Pack emergency bag

Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hide it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour’s or friend’s house). Try to avoid mutual friends or family.

Keep cash handy

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

Rehearse escape plan

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

Keep a phone close

Know where the nearest phone is, and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you.

Keep helplines handy

Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers (for example, the police domestic violence unit; your GP; your social worker, if you have one; your children’s school; your solicitor, and the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247).

Go to a low risk area

If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, 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.

In an emergency, always call the police on 999.