If you are experiencing domestic abuse, in any emergency – dial 999.
If you feel you need to get out immediately (ideally with your children) call a friend, support agency or Western Isles Women’s Aid.
Ways to protect yourself
Here are some practical ideas of how you can protect yourself now. Take one step at a time and start with the one that is easiest and safest for you.
Protecting yourself now
- Tell someone you trust about the abuse. This could be a friend, family member or a support worker.
- Keep phone numbers of agencies or friends who can help you in a safe place.
- Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency and what they would need to say; e.g. their full name, address and telephone number. Teach them it is important to keep safe when there is abuse. Tell them not to get between you and your partner if there is violence. Plan a code word to signal they should get help or leave.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely.
- Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children and hide it somewhere safe like at a neighbour or friend’s house. Things to keep in an emergency bag include important documents like birth certificates, passports, bank cards, any papers relating to the abuse (police reports and court orders) and personal items like family photos, jewellery, small items of sentimental value, clothing and toiletries for you and your children and your children’s favourite small toys.
- If you can, try to keep a small amount of money on you at all times.
- If possible, take some food and any medication you or your children may need.
- Remember your house key – you may need to return later to get some more belongings.
In an emergency
- Know where the nearest phone is and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you.
- If you think that your partner is about to attack you, try and move to a place where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Try and avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons.