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Safety measures

Practical safety measures to give to someone experiencing domestic abuse.

A plan for how to respond in different situations should be developed, including for crisis situations.

The different options that may be available should be considered.

Any important and emergency telephone numbers should be kept to hand, for example: 

  • the local Women's Aid refuge organisation or other domestic abuse service
  • the police domestic abuse unit
  • GP
  • social worker
  • children's school
  • solicitor
  • The freephone 24 hour Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline tel: 08000 198 668

Children should be taught to telephone 999 in an emergency and told how to give their full name, address and telephone number.

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

An escape plan should be rehearsed so that in an emergency the person and their children can get away safely.

Both for the person and their children, an emergency bag should be packed and hidden somewhere safe. For example, at a neighbour's or friend's house. The homes of mutual friends or family should be avoided.

A small amount of money should be kept to hand at all times, including change for the telephone and for bus fares.

The location of the nearest telephone should be known. If the person has a mobile phone they should try to keep it with them.

If the person suspects that their partner is about to attack them, they should try to go to a lower risk area of the house. For example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone. The kitchen or garage should be avoided as there are likely to be knives or other weapons in such places. Rooms where a person may become trapped should also be avoided, such as the bathroom or where someone might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

In an emergency, the person and their children should be prepared to leave the house.