Help yourself stay safe
By Davina James-Hanman
If You Stay
If you are living in an abusive relationship and are not ready to leave, you must keep yourself and your children safe. You are not responsible for the abuse but you do have a choice about how to respond to your abuser and how best to keep yourself and your children safe. Whatever your reasons for staying, you do not deserve to be abused. If you decide to stay with your partner and work things out, seek outside help. Do not try to do this alone. See a counsellor who does not blame you for the abuse and who puts your safety first.
Contact Women's Aid, the Samaritans or Victim Support Scheme to get recommendations for support
Safety During A Violent Incident
It will not always be possible to avoid violence and you have probably already developed many strategies by yourself to increase your safety. Below are some ideas which other women have used.
If you need to leave your home quickly, think about a safe way to do this. What doors will you use? Are there any windows you could use in an emergency?
If you think a violent incident is about to occur, try to move to a low risk space where there is not easy access to weapons and you have access to an outside door.
If possible, tell a neighbour about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises.
Teach your children how to use the telephone so they can contact others for help. Think of a code word for your children and friends so that they will know it is an emergency.
Use your judgement and knowledge of your abuser. If the situation is very serious, you can give him what he wants to calm him down. It is important to protect yourself until you are out of danger.