This might be when the relationship is over or to escape a particular assault, or to take a break for safety and sanity. Planning ahead can make dealing with an emergency much easier.

This is just a suggested plan of action which you can add to or change to suit you.

  • Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone. (neighbour? relative? other contacts?)
  • Make and always carry with you a list of numbers for an emergency. Include friends, relatives, local police, Women's Aid as even well known numbers can be forgotten in a panic.
  • Try to save some money for bus, train or cab fares.
  • Have an extra set of keys for house, flat, car.
  • Keep the keys, money and a set of clothes for you and the children packed ready in a bag and leave it with a friend you can trust.
  • Explain to your children who are old enough to understand that you might have to leave in a hurry and will take them with you or will arrange for them to join you. Do NOT tell younger children who might blurt it out.

If you have more time to plan, do as much as possible of the following:

  • Leave when he/she is not around.
  • Take all of your children with you.
  • Take your legal and financial papers, marriage and birth certificates, court orders, national health cards, passports, driving licence, child credit books, address book, bank books, cheque books, credit cards, etc.
  • Take any of your personal possessions which have sentimental value - photographs or jewellery for example.
  • Take favourite toys for the children.
  • Take clothing for at least several days.
  • Take any medicine you or your children might need.

If you do leave and later discover you've forgotten something, you can always arrange for the protection of a police escort to return home to collect it.