I am planning to leave my abuser

If you have decided to leave your abuser, it is important that you access specialist support. Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous. He may become more abusive to try and regain control over you. It is very important that he doesn’t find out you are considering leaving.

You can call the LifeLine Stop Gender-Based Violence Line in confidence,  0800 150 150. We won’t tell you what to do, but we can support you to understand your options and make a plan. We can let you know about specialist services in your community and help you find a refuge place. In an emergency situation, call 10111.

Apart from getting support, you might want to consider the following important factors.

Creating an emergency bag

If it is safe to do so without your abuser noticing, keep a bag with extra money, important documents (including birth certificates, marriage certificates, mortgage documents, ID documents, driving licence), a set of keys, some clothes, any medication, phone charger and emergency numbers. This could be kept safe at a neighbour or friend’s house, so you can leave in a hurry and still have your essentials.

Making a plan

Think about your partners’ routines and choose a safe time to leave your home. Consider where he will be, and plan a safe route – for example, you might want to avoid using a local taxi service in a small town, in case the driver tells your partner where you have gone.

Arranging a place to stay

This might be the home of a trusted friend or family member, but make sure your abuser doesn’t know the location. Or you might want to go into a shelter. Here are some shelters to consider:

Financial Independence​

If it is possible to do so without alerting your partner, start putting some money aside for if you need to leave in a hurry. You could also think about ways you might gain financial independence away from your partner, in the future. 

Considering ways he might track you

It is important to think about all the ways your partner might be able to find out where you are. For example, if you think your abuser might have access to your phone or messages, you could use a friend’s phone to make arrangements to leave, or buy a cheap phone that he is not aware of. Similarly, you may need to delete any searches related to looking for support on your internet history. You should also turn off any geo-location settings on your phone. You can find more tips on keeping your technology safe and reducing the risk of tracking by clicking the button below.