Safety planning

Abuse is not your fault. The only person responsible is the perpetrator. If you feel you or your family are unsafe there are steps you can take to minimise your risk


Safety planning

Abuse is not your fault. The only person responsible is the perpetrator. If you feel you or your family are unsafe there are steps you can take to minimise your risk

While you can’t control your abuser’s actions or behaviour, you can take steps to help keep yourself and your family safe.

Tell someone

Let someone you trust, like a close friend or family member, know what is going on. They will be able to keep an eye on you and can agree on a safe word you can use to let them know you are not ok. 

Make a plan for what they’d do if you use the safe word or phrase, like calling the police. They may also be able to provide a safe place to go to in an emergency.

Plan for an emergency

Are there other people you can turn to? Have their numbers on speed dial and your phone fully charged and close to hand so that you can reach them in an emergency. Ask trusted neighbours to dial 999 if they hear a disturbance.

If you are in an emergency and you can’t leave, block yourself in the safest room and dial 999.

Teach your children how to get help

Teach your children how to dial 999 in an emergency and to give their name and address to the emergency services.

If you feel that an argument is about to happen…

Try to speak calmly and to move to a room with a clear exit. Avoid kitchens or tool sheds where sharp objects could be used as weapons and try to hide any fear.

If possible keep a safe distance from your abuser and if you have to escape make sure you have a safe place to go to.

Be ready to leave in an emergency

If you feel you are in a situation where leaving is the best option, try to take the following items. It can be useful to keep these in one place where you can get to them quickly if you need to leave in a hurry:

  • Money
  • Bank/credit cards
  • ID documents
  • Keys (house/car)
  • Medication
  • Clothes and toys for children

You might also consider packing:

  • Social security cards and court orders
  • House deeds (agreements/payment books/insurance certificates)
  • Birth certificate/s
  • Photographs
  • Jewellery or any other items of sentimental value

This is just a guide. VOICES are happy to talk through an individual safety plan with you.

If you think an ex-partner might return…

If you’re concerned an ex-partner who no longer lives with you may return, taking steps to improve security might make you feel safer:

  • Change the locks
  • Keep doors locked and take the keys out
  • Make sure your window locks work
  • Have smoke detectors fitted (and make sure you know where to find your door keys in case they’re activated)
  • Have a door viewer fitted if you can
  • Install a strong, robust door chain 
  • Consider having an alarm system fitted, which can include a panic device.
5b. Top blob

We can support you now

If you are ready to have a conversation with us, leave a safe number for us to call and a time that suits you either on our answer machine or via email.

No commitments, no record without your consent. Just a conversation.

01225 420249

6b. Bottom blob
Quotation marks

This service has saved my mental health and has provided a safe service whilst helping with coping mechanisms for the future.

- Lena

Latest news

Christmas message

Christmas and New Year contacts

VOICES will be closed for some days over Christmas and New Year. We wish all our wonderful clients, partners and supporters a peaceful and healthy holiday. Please find the details of our opening hours and contact information during the period here. Contact details for other specialist services are available on our Facebook page:

Hands in the air

Survivor-led organisations deserve safe spaces

VOICES is calling for whole community support to ensure organisations created by and for survivors of domestic abuse can flourish in safety.

orange bench

A German school’s initiative for safety in public spaces

A vocational school in Hennef, Germany marked the 40th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism with an unusual and inspiring initiative. The institution is one among a national network of “Courage Schools”, and their campaign showed that combatting violence against women and girls is everybody’s business.