Karishma Dharni

Planning to leave an abusive relationship

You may have decided that you wish to leave your abusive husband, partner or family member(s). Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous and it is very important that your abuser does not find out that you are planning to leave.

You should seek specialist support from a domestic abuse agency who will support you to make a plan to leave safely. Search for your local domestic abuse service here, or contact our Helpline by phone or email.

We’ve put together some suggestions you might want to consider if you are thinking about leaving. However, we do not know your abuser(s) and their behaviour so you should not take any action which you feel may put you in danger.

  • Try to set aside a small amount of money each week, or even open a separate bank account.
  • Find someone you can trust. Leave money, spare keys, copies of important documents and some clothing with them so that you can leave quickly if necessary.
  • Try to take the things you will need with you, including any prescribed medication, glasses or lenses, hearing aid or other aids, important documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, tenancy/mortgage documents and ID documents relating to yourself and your children.
  • Plan to leave at a time you know your abuser(s) will not be around.
  • Take your children with you if at all possible. If they are at school, make sure that the Head Teacher and all your children’s teachers know what the situation is, and who will be collecting the children in future.
  • If you have concerns about your immigration status, discuss this with a professional who can arrange independent legal immigration advice for you and explain your options. Find out more about accessing immigration advice.
  • Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children. You should try to pack
  • Considering ways your abuser(s) might track you or be able to find out where you are. Find out more about keeping your technology safe and reducing the risk of tracking.
  • If you’re not already in touch with a domestic abuse service like Southall Black Sisters, it would really help if you contacted one. They will be able to give you information on the options available to you and how to access support.
  • If you phone a support service from your home landline, your abuser(s) may press ‘last number redial’ so you should make another call to hide the fact that you are accessing support.
  • Many domestic abuse organisations have websites with information and contact details. Most of these will allow you to ‘hide your steps’ and exit to a neutral website.

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