What is safety planning?


Whether you choose to stay in the relationship or leave, there are safety issues and risks to think about. Thinking about the potential risks and planning how to keep safe is called ‘safety planning’.


We understand how difficult it can be to leave an abusive relationship as a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller. Remember, you know your life best and you are the only one who gets to decide what you need to feel safe. Watch our videos about safety planning here:

Safety planning can look like:

  • Keep your mobile phone charged and close by
  • Delete your browser history and phone calls after seeking support from services
  • Avoid places in your home that have hard or sharp surfaces to minimise the impact of your injuries (e.g. the kitchen and bathrooms)
  • Agree on a safe word with a family member, friend or professional if you need to leave quickly
  • Pack a bag and leave it the boot of a car or at a friend’s house
    • No matter where you go, you and your children will need ID (e.g. passports)
    • Phone and charger
    • Documents to prove your address (e.g. bank statements or bills)
    • Money for travel or loaded Oyster card
  • Keep abusive text messages as evidence
  • Hide some money for a taxi or phone box
  • Keep a copy of the key to your home close to the door

We know that the abuse does not always end because the relationship ends, so safety planning is something you can do at any time. Additional considerations could be:

  • Block the abuser on social media and keep all accounts on private
  • Change your phone number
  • Change your daily routine
  • Turn off the location on your phone

What support is out there?

Listen to Mari, who works at an organisation called Refuge, explain what an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) is and how they can support you.

Your rights at refuge

What does a refuge look like?

This refuge is based in Surrey, listen to the video below to learn more about the housing and supports they provide:

Are you struggling to get refuge?

Light at the end of the tunnel - a message from survivors

What legal support is there for a victim of domestic abuse?

While there are many orders in the Family Court, there are two types of court orders for domestic abuse (‘injunctions’) that you may be able to apply for. Learn more here.

Can a Family Member Mind My Children?

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and worry about your children’s safety, would you like a family member to support you by minding the children? This is called kinship care.