If you are considering leaving a violent relationship, you will probably have many questions and apprehensions about what happens next. Should you decide to leave your partner it is a good idea to put a plan in place so that you are practically, emotionally and financially prepared. This will also ensure that you do not need to return home in order to pick up forgotten items. The following section provides you with information on how to set up a safety plan. Please be aware that some of these options may be possible for you, some may not. Do not do anything that you feel could compromise yours or your children safety.
Consider creating an escape fund. An escape fund could come in useful should you need to leave your home in a hurry and will also prepare you should you need to access alternative accommodation for you and your children. You can create an emergency fund by putting aside small amounts of money. These should be relatively small amounts that will not be missed by your partner and will not raise alarm. It may be the case that your partner controls your funds and that you are unable to gain access to any money. If you or your children are in danger and need to leave your partner immediately there are a number of emergency funds you can access. This could include asking a friend, family member or someone you trust if there is a possibility of lending some money in case of an emergency. Alternatively you can apply for a crisis loan from your local benefits office – for more information visit www.advice.org.uk
The Haven Wolverhampton suggests the following:
If you are unable to access original documents, or you think your partner may notice that such documents are missing, you could take photocopies of the originals or alternatively note down the relevant reference numbers.
The Haven Wolverhampton suggests gathering items for your escape over an extended period of time so as to avoid your partner becoming suspicious of any items going missing. Remember to leave your bag in a place where your partner is not likely to look for it, or alternatively ask a friend or neighbour to keep hold of it until you are ready to leave.
When the time comes to leave be sure to know where it is you need to go – will it be at a friends, family member or refuge? Try to time your departure when your partner will not be around to avoid him/her trying to stop you. This could be whilst your partner is out of the house socialising or at work.
If the last number you dialled was a taxi, refuge or the place you intend to travel to, dial another number – for example, the Speaking Clock (dial 123). Do not leave pieces of paper with names, numbers or addresses on them. Remember that writing can be imprinted through more than one page on a jotter/note pad.
The Haven Wolverhampton has developed a toolkit that can also help you with your finance issues and includes a safety plan in order to being financially prepared to leave your partner. To download your copy of the guide please click here.
Remember if you do not have time to follow the safety plan and find yourself in immediate danger call 999.
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