Everyone in an abusive relationship should have a safety plan. Plans should be tailored to your personal situation. We can help you to come up with a plan that works for you- just call our 24-hour helpline on 0151 643 9766- option 2

In case you are not ready to access support, we have developed the below generic plan to help you decide what's right for you.

The purpose of a safety plan is to:

  • Reduce your risk
  • Be ready for crisis
  • Help you plan to leave safely
  • Know what to do after you leave
  • Support your children through changes and reduce trauma
  • Access resources you need

Reducing your risk

You may not have control over how your partner or family member treats you, but there are things you can do to reduce the potential for harm. Risk assessments (done by a professional) and safety plans are tools to identify areas of risk and your options to limit harm to you and your children. It's important that you are involved in making your plan so that it meets your needs and it will be easier for you to remember. It may not be safe to keep a written copy of your plan if you are living with an abuser, so it may be helpful to leave a copy of your plan with a friend you trust.

Be ready for a crisis

If you are not ready to leave the relationship yet, think about how you can plan for potentially volatile situations. You can:

  • Keep your mobile fully charged and on your person at all times. Be ready to call 999 if you are in danger or feel at risk. You can even program the number in your speed dial.
  • If a situation is escalating, decide where you can go in your home where there is less risk. For example, try to avoid being in the kitchen, garage or in rooms where there is no exit route.
  • Plan possible escape routes from the property and make sure a set of keys is readily available to avoid being locked in.
  • Keep an emergency bag with a trusted friend containing clothing, money, bank cards, medications, phone numbers and important documents (identification, legal documents, passports etc.) in case you need to flee the property in a hurry.
  • It's worth considering keeping an extra pay as you go sim-card with your emergency bag so you can avoid distress of being contacted by the abuser if you leave.
  • Let friends, family and neighbours know about your situation and ask them to call police if they hear things getting out of hand or they are worried. Sometimes people are reluctant to call police for fear of upsetting you, so let them know it's OK to keep you safe.
  • Teach your children how to call for help away from the abuser and leave the 'danger area'. Make sure they understand that they shouldn't try to intervene. Program emergency numbers in their phone. They make not feel comfortable calling police but be happier calling a relative or friend to say help is needed.
  • Agree a safe code word or phrase that you and your children can use to alert people that you need help when the abuser is present.
  • Plan where you can go in an emergency. Talk to friends about staying with them in an emergency.
  • Don't forget, you can go to police, fire services, GP surgeries, pharmacies, social services or health services for help.
  • Keep notes about what is happening and details of incidents in a safe place where the abuser can't find them. You might want to include times/dates of incidents and photographs of any injuries. These can be helpful later if you need to access legal or welfare support.
  • In an emergency dial 999

Planning to leave

One of the most dangerous times for escalation of violence is when you make the decision to leave. You should contact professionals for help and support to plan your leaving safely. You should keep in mind:

  • Keep your emergency bag or survival kit accessible and up to date.
  • Arrange in advance where you will go. It may be safer in some situations to leave the area. This may be distressing but remember it doesn't necessarily have to be long term. It could just be until you have safety measures and legal orders in place.
  • Plan the time you will leave carefully. You should never let the abuser know you are planning to leave as this can quickly escalate the abuse. Allow adequate time to pack and get away safely when they are not around.
  • Consider seeking legal advice before you leave to discuss matters like finances and child contact. Be clear with legal advisors that it may not be safe to make direct contact with you and if possible, agree an alternative way to contact you such as through a trusted friend.
  • A planned escape is always the best way to leave an abusive relationship.

After leaving

Many people prefer to stay in their local area where their support network is after they leave. In some cases, it may be safer to leave the area to avoid further abuse. Remember that the most dangerous times for abuse to escalate are after disclosure and departure. Safety planning should be an ongoing process and should be reviewed regularly.


  • If staying at home, secure the premises by changing locks and installing security lights. There are organisations that can arrange and even help pay for this. Call us on 0151 643 9766- option 2 for further information.
  • If you have to call the abuser after you leave, you can use 141 to hide your number, or ring BT Customer Services on 150 who can make sure your number can't be traced. You can keep a separate phone just for the abuser. That way you can keep any messages as evidence.
  • Discuss the situation with your children's school.
  • If you must meet with the abuser, do so in a safe public place. Don't agree for them to come to your property.
  • Try to arrange child contact via a third party and ask if family and friends will help with the school run.
  • Keep a diary of any harassment received. Contact police if any criminal behaviour takes place.
  • Discuss with a Solicitor who can advise on the use of restraining orders and occupation orders. You may be entitled to legal aid.

As we mentioned earlier, safety planning is better if done with professionals as we can risk assess and cover any areas you may not have considered. Call us on 0151 643 9766- option 2