Making a safety plan
We understand how difficult and scary it is to leave a violent situation or person. Below are some helpful steps you can take now to increase your safety and that of your children.
Phone 999 in an emergency
Phone the police on 999 if you or your children are frightened and in danger.
You can phone 999 any time of the day or night for free, even if your phone is out of credit.
Tell someone, to help you be safer
Your abusers (parents, husband, partner, boyfriend, family members) may have threatened to hurt you or your children or family if you tell anyone about the abuse. But telling someone can help you be safer. Choose someone that you trust, and if you can’t think of anyone then contact us at Apna Haq and our staff team will understand your fears and help you to leave your violent situation.
Make a plan for your safety
Think about how to stay safe if you are:
- Living with whoever is abusing you.
- Planning to leave.
- Have already left and live apart from whoever was abusing you.
Apna Haq can help you with your plan. We will help you think about:
- Who are the people that you trust?
- If you need to leave in a hurry, is there a neighbour or friend you can go to?
- Write down or memorise their phone numbers.
- Memorise 999 for the police and Apna Haq's number which is 07824 767170.
- What is the safest and quickest way for you to get out of the house if you need to?
- If you are being hurt, what is the safest room for you to be in?
- Know where the nearest phone is.
- Make up a secret signal that you can say to your children or anyone else supporting you to show that you need them to phone the police or get help.
If you are planning to leave
If you need to get away in a hurry, just leave and take your children with you. Everything else can be replaced. The police can help you go back for your belongings another time. Your safety is more important.
Put aside, or try to make copies of, any important papers like birth or marriage certificates and passports (for you and your children); immigration, legal and financial papers; and bank cards. Put these papers somewhere safe (out of the house with a friend).
Pack an overnight bag for you and any children and hide it somewhere (for example with a friend).
Put a little money aside for buses and taxis; spare house and car keys; a mobile phone, fully charged with credit; any spare prescribed medicines.
Reasons your risk might increase
If the abuser finds out that you are thinking about leaving or when you do leave, the risk of being further hurt can increase, for example:
- You are threatening to leave or have recently left.
- You are pregnant or have recently had a child.
- The abuse has been getting worse or is happening more often.
- Abusers are using a weapon to hurt you.
- Abusers are threatening to kill you, and or, themselves.
- Abusers receive a letter, for example from your solicitor.
- Abuser has mental health issues and the symptoms are getting worse.
- Abuser is using a lot of alcohol or drugs
- Abuser/your family have planned an unexpected trip for you to their ‘home country’.
- Abuser/their family is refusing to apply for your visa.
Being taken abroad
If you think someone is planning to take you or your children abroad without your consent, get advice immediately. If you are still in the UK, you can contact the police (phone 101 or 999 in an emergency), Apna Haq, social work, school guidance teacher, college or university student adviser. Apna Haq can also help you talk to a lawyer or social worker.
Below are some more sources of help:
- UK Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Forced Marriage Unit if you are at risk of forced marriage.
- British Embassy or Consulate if you are abroad.
- Reunite if your children have been taken abroad.
Please contact us today and we will support you to make a safety plan. We support women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME) who are of any religion or no religion, and who are of any sexuality – heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.