If you are in immediate danger call the police on:
You can call the freephone 24 hour helpline:
0808 2000 247
- Calls to this number are free of charge
- All calls are private, confidential and, if you prefer, anonymous.
- The helpline can provide access to an interpreter for non-English-speaking callers.
- For further information, see the Helpline FAQs.
How to stay safe after leaving
Below are some steps which may help to keep you safe.
Consider going to a refuge
Women’s refuges, like ours, can provide safety for you and your children. The aim of refuges is to provide safety, support services and resources for you and your children. You can be referred to a refuge by calling the national helpline on 0808 200 0247
Hide your mobile phone’s location
You can read our advice on hiding your mobile phone’s location, however, the only way to be certain that you cannot be tracked through your phone is to get a new mobile phone and number. If this isn’t possible, you should consider wiping the phone to the factory defaults to remove anything placed there by your abuser.
- How do I wipe my Android device? (opens in a new tab)
- How do I wipe my Apple device? (opens in a new tab)
In either case, make sure to take a copy of important information such as phone numbers or evidence you’ve collected.
Perpetrators are often able to use other computers or hand held devices such as iPods and tablets to track locations or otherwise “spy” on your activity, as with mobile phones wipe Turn off location or GPS settings or consider leaving behind “smart” devices.
Try to avoid Facebook and other social network sites
It is easy to disclose your location to be tracked through some of these sites ensure your location and GPS services are switched off. You don’t want information about what you’re doing or who you’re friends with to be public. You don’t know who could be friends with your abuser. Get advice on privacy settings and ensure your profile is closed, always change passwords and log out of all other devices. Photos hold precious location information so it’s important not to post or send photos.
Consider getting a restraining order
A refuge like ours, or other Women’s Aid Support Services can help you with this. Alternatively, contact a family solicitor.
You can find out more about injunctions and how to file them on either
- The National centre for domestic violence (opens in a new tab)
- Or the government’s website (opens in a new tab)
Change your routines
If possible change your travel routes, where you shop and previous routines.
Secure your accounts
Change your passwords and PIN codes to any accounts you have.
Remember to cancel bank statements which can identify where you have used your cash card.
Protect yourself at work
If you feel comfortable, alert your boss or the HR department at work. Ask for security to walk you to your car and change office location if possible.
Protect your children
Help to prepare your children in case they are approached by your abuser. They should have a clear understanding of what to do and where to get help in this situation. Alert their school or nursery of your circumstance and any changes to collection and drop off arrangements.
Have a mobile phone with you at all times so you can call the police if necessary and be aware of your environment.
If the abuse continues keep records of all texts, emails, stalking and harassment. Keep a video or written journal.
Keep loved ones informed
Always tell a trusted person where you are going and have check-in times so loved ones always know you are safe.
And if you move to a new home:
- Consider window and door locks, outdoor lights, an alarm system, steel doors and smoke detectors.
- Choose an area which has plenty of neighbours and is not secluded.
- Keep your new address confidential e.g. you could consider a PO Box.
To find out more about what support is available once you have left, read our page on life after leaving.