Safety planning guidelines
Safety whilst living with violence and abuse
- Always dial 999 if you feel threatened or frightened in any way. If you feel that speaking with the police may put you in more danger, after dialling 999, press 55 (Silent Solutions). This alerts the call taker that this is a ‘silent call’, that you are unable to speak safely, but require assistance. You will be transferred to a police call handler trained to deal with ‘silent calls’.
If possible, teach your children how to call for help e.g. a neighbour, the police, or family.
- Plan an escape route from the house and go through this with your children, so that they know what to do in an emergency situation where you need to get out quickly.
- Position yourself near a door or window if possible, so that you can exit the room easily and your escape isn’t blocked.
- Don’t run to where your children are if there is an incident, as they may be hurt also.
- Try and avoid high risk rooms e.g. kitchen, bathroom, garage, or stairs
- If you feel you can trust your neighbours and it is safe to speak to them ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance in your house.
- If possible inform people close to you about what is happening
- If you feel you can also inform your workplace, discuss a safety plan with them in case you should you unexpectedly not attend work (e.g. asking the police to conduct a ‘Safe and Well’ check at your address).
- Begin gathering belongings in preparation to leave, so that you can go at a moments notice. Try not to take anything that the perpetrator will notice is missing and store these items at a safe place e.g. at work, a friend’s house, or with family.
- Log all incidents with the police, as this will make it easier to apply for injunctions etc. if you decide to leave.
Where to go for help
If you think you are in an abusive relationship and want some support there are many organisations who you can speak for information or advice on leaving a relationship:-
- Police – Call 999 in an emergency, or for general advice Call 101 to speak to a domestic abuse officer at your nearest local police station. Comprehensive advice is also available on the police website (www.lincs.police.uk).
- Social Worker – Talk to your assigned social worker if you have one, or for general advice phone: Lincs Adult Social Care (01522 78215) – or Lincs Children’s Social Care (01522 782111)
- Sexual Abuse – For specialist support and advice regarding incidences of sexual abuse contact
Spring Lodge Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – 01522 524402 (weekdays 9-5) (Out of hours: 01371 812686)
- GP, Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor – Contact your local medical centre, or Children’s Centre for confidential advice and support.
- The ‘National Domestic Violence Helpline’ –This is a free 24 hour helpline service run by ‘Women’s Aid’ and ‘Refuge’ – Telephone: 0808 2000 247
- Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Website – www.domesticabuselincolnshire.com – This is an informative website, hosted by Lincolnshire County Council
- Domestic Abuse Support Services EDAN Lincs –01522 510041
www.edanlincs.org.uk (email: email@example.com)
- Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Specialist Service 01522 510041
Planning to leave an abusive relationship
- Try and save some money and put this in a safe place, so that you are financially able to transport yourself to somewhere safe.
- Do not discuss wanting to leave with the abusive person as they may resort to drastic measures to get you to stay
- Plan to leave at the safest time possible (e.g. if the perpetrator has set working hours try and move out during those times.)
- Plan what you will need to pack for you and your children and how much of this you can put in a safe place ready to leave. This could be with family/a friend/neighbours/workplace.
Try and just take essentials, as you may need to travel a distance and be limited to what you can carry.
- You may need to pack things like :- clothes for several days, ID, any medication/prescriptions needed, any orders in place, birth certificates and passports, money and cards, spare keys for the property, a mobile phone and charger with credit on it, children’s favourite toys/teddies, a list of safe contact numbers e.g. Women’s Aid, friends or family.
- Your risk will be heightened around the time of planning and moving. It is important that you plan to move in secret and that only people who really need to know do know.
Safety when you have left an abusive relationship
- Deactivate social media sites e.g. Facebook – or at the very least change account settings, so that the perpetrator cannot see your profile , or locate you
- Turn off any GPS, or location services on your phone.
- Change your phone number, so that the perpetrator cannot contact you
- Seek legal advice to get injunctions, or orders in place to protect you and your children
- Discuss with school/nursery/child-minders the only people allowed to pick the children up. Children can be further protected by needing a password from the person picking them up, which is set by the parent before they will be released from school
- Schools can ‘lock down’ children’s files and put a stop on information sharing about the child – this can also happen at GP surgeries – so your location cannot be tracked in that way.
- Change addresses/ stop paper statements of utility bills – especially any bank statements and itemised phone bills, as you could be tracked this way
- Be vigilant when you are out and about and carry a personal alarm.
- If you feel threatened in any way call 999 and speak to the police.
- Carry copies of any orders you have in place with you
- Always carry a mobile phone that is charged up – 999 calls are free.
- Keep a log of any contact perpetrator makes with you and if you can log this with the police.