Safety plan and escape plan

Victims who are still living with their partner should have a safety plan of what to do if they are physically attacked and also have an escape plan for if they decide to leave.  Men leaving a violent relationship do not have the same support mechanisms in place as women - there are very few refuges for men, they may face greater challenges in getting an occupation order especially if they have left children behind with their violent partner.

Safety plan

Victims are advised to keep their mobile phone charged and with them at all times but to be aware that this can also arouse suspicion so be discrete about this if you can.

Victims should have essential phone numbers in their phone or at hand e.g. Police Community Support Officer, counsellor, friends who live nearby.

If an argument or violence starts victims should try to stay away from the kitchen.  Kitchens have a plentiful supply of knives and other potential weapons and women perpetrators are known to be more likely than men to use weapons.  Try not to retaliate physically or verbally as this can escalate the situation and enable blame to be apportioned to you.

If you call the police you should try to wait where you are safe from further violence, for example near or outside the front door.

Thinking about these issues in advance can help you make better decisions in the event of an incident.

Escape plan

Victims should have an emergency bag of essentials packed ready in case they need to leave the home urgently.  The bag should be left somewhere safe where it won't be seen or found by their partner as this would inflame the situation.  The best place may be with a friend living nearby, at work or perhaps in a garage or shed.

Essentials in an emergency bag include a change of clothes, essential medications, spare keys and car keys, essential phone numbers and contact details.  Essential documents such as passport, birth certificate and driving licence need to be kept where they can be accessed after leaving the home - perhaps with a friend or at work.

If you are planning to leave try to remove all of your financial papers from the home and leave them somewhere safe.

If children are involved and it is practical to take them when escaping, the emergency bag should include essentials for the children (for small children to include nappies and feeds/snacks).  Children's documents will need to be accessible if a return to the home is not possible.

Victims should try to keep bank and credit cards with them at all times and if possible have some spare cash with their emergency bag or in another safe place.