Preparing to leave

Whatever coping strategies you have used – with more or less success – there may come a time when you feel the only option is to leave your partner.

If you do decide to leave your partner, it is best if you can plan this carefully. Sometimes abusers will increase their abuse if they suspect you are thinking of leaving, and will continue to do so after you have left, so this can be a particularly dangerous time for you. It’s important to remember that ending the relationship will not necessarily end the abuse

Plan to leave at a time you know your partner will not be around. Try to take everything you will need with you, including any important documents relating to yourself and your children, as you may not be able to return later.

Take your children with you, otherwise it may be difficult or impossible to have them living with you in future. If they are at school, make sure that the head and all your children’s teachers know what the situation is, and who will be collecting the children in future. (See below, Protecting yourself after you have left).

Thinking about leaving and making the decision to leave can be a long process.

Planning it doesn’t mean you have to carry it through immediately – or at all. But it may help to be able to consider all the options and think about how you could overcome the difficulties involved.

If at all possible, try to set aside a small amount of money each week, or even open a separate bank account.

If your ex-partner continues the abuse

If your ex-partner continues to harass, threaten or abuse you, make sure you keep detailed records of each incident, including the date and time it occurred, what was said or done, and, if possible, photographs of damage to your property or injuries to yourself or others.

If your partner or ex-partner injures you, see your GP or go to hospital for treatment and ask them to document your visit.

If you have an injunction with a power of arrest, or there is a restraining order in place, you should ask the police to enforce this; and if your ex-partner is in breach of any court order, you should also tell your solicitor.

See Getting an injunction and the Police and the criminal prosecution process for further information on legal options.

In an emergency, always call the police on 999

Support we can offer

Link to community support

Preparing yourself

Link to leaving safely