It helps you plan what you might do in the case of future violence or abuse. It can also help you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.
You are not responsible for your partner’s violence and abuse – only they are and only they can stop it. But there are things you can think about and do to increase your own and your children’s safety. For example, there may be a pattern to the violence which may enable you to plan ahead to increase your safety.
Here are some of the things you can consider that might increase your safety:
Whatever coping strategies you have used – there may come a time when you feel the only option is to leave your partner.
Thinking about leaving and making the decision to leave can be a long process. Planning it doesn’t mean you have to carry it through immediately – or at all. But it may help to be able to consider all the options and think about how you could overcome the difficulties involved. If you do decide to leave your partner, it is best if you can plan this carefully. Sometimes abusers will increase their violence if they suspect you are thinking of leaving, and will continue to do so after you have left, so this can be a particularly dangerous time for you. It’s important to remember that ending the relationship will not necessarily end the abuse.
Here are some things to consider:
Ideally, you need to take all the following items with you if you leave. Some of these items you can try to keep with you at all times; others you may be able to pack in your ’emergency bag’.
You should also take any documentation relating to the abuse – e.g. police reports, court orders such as injunctions and restraining orders, and copies of medical records if you have them.
There are many ways different things that can increase your safety once you have left, for example;
Getting the right safety measures in place depend upon your individual circumstances. IDAS workers are experienced in helping people maximise their safety and are happy to work with you to develop your own individual safety plan.
If you stay or return to your home after your partner has left, then you might need some form of legal protection. There are other things that can be done to help you feel safer, for instance:
For further help with technological abuse such as digital stalking and surveillance consult a website such as http://www.goaskrose.com/security-guides/
An IDAS worker can advise you on safety measures whatever your individual situation.
If your ex-partner continues to harass, threaten or abuse you, you can get help through the criminal or civil legal processes and you can receive support from IDAS or other support agencies in your area.
In an emergency always call 999
IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.