If you are planning to leave you may not feel able to leave immediately, but you can plan and be prepared for when an emergency does arise and you need to leave your home. Leaving is often the most dangerous time so plan leaving so you can increase your safety. You can:
- Keep a record of the violent and controlling behaviour to support any future action you may take – civil or criminal.
- Log incidents with the police, even if you do not want to press charges at present: https://www.met.police.uk
- Seek legal advice (Solace Advice can give you numbers of Solicitors, Rights of Women / Community Legal Service Directory link/ National DV Helpline )
- Have any bruises or injuries recorded by a doctor for future use in any legal proceedings, rehousing procedures, etc. You can also take a picture using a camera or your mobile phone. Solace can also do this for you
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret, but accessible place so you can leave quickly.
- Keep important documents in a safe place, either hidden in your home at with friends / family (e.g. marriage / birth certificates, national insurance card, passport, driving licence etc,) including items of sentimental value, so that they can be grabbed in a hurry.
- Only tell people you trust where you will be. Lie if you have to – this will protect you and them.
The following items will be useful but are not essential for you to take if you decide that you want to leave in a hurry. Remember we can always help you to get these items later and with police support:
- ID – passports, birth / marriage certificate, NI number, driving licence etc
- Money – bank / credit cards
- Medical – prescribed medicines, prescriptions, medical cards, children’s medical records
- Legal – injunctions, divorce papers, mortgage documents, tenancy agreement
- Special Items: photos, child’s favourite toy, house and car keys.
- Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.
Remember: If the last number you called was a refuge, taxi or the place you are going to stay, dial another number – for example, the Speaking Clock (dial 123)