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Leaving an abusive relationship
Don’t forget that if you or someone you know is in danger, you should leave your home immediately and call the emergency services on 999.
If someone in your family is hurting or threatening to hurt you, or telling you what you can and can’t do, or trying to make you do something you don’t want to do – for example, marry someone you don’t want to marry, or have sex when you don’t want to – you may feel that you need to leave your home.
You can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline at any time, on 0808 2000 247, for:
- A confidential telephone conversation about what’s happening to you and how you feel about it
- Refuge accommodation
- Advice or information about legal, housing or welfare rights and options
- Help with crisis and safety planning
- Emotional support and (if appropriate) the chance to be referred to counselling
The best thing to do if you feel you are in immediate danger is to get yourself and your children out of your home as soon as you can, and go back to collect your things with the police later.
If you do have time to plan, you ideally need to take the following items with you:
- Some form of identification
- Birth certificates for you and your children
- Passports (including passports for all your children), visas and work permits
- Money, bankbooks, cheque book and credit and debit cards
- Keys for house, car, and place of work
- Cards for payment of Child Benefit and any other welfare benefits you are entitled to
- Driving licence (if you have one) and car registration documents, if applicable
- Prescribed medication
- Copies of documents relating to your housing tenure (for example, mortgage details or lease and rental agreements)
- Insurance documents, including national insurance number
- Address book
- Family photographs, your diary, jewellery, small items of sentimental value
- Clothing and toiletries for you and your children
- Your children’s favourite small toys
You should also take any documentation relating to the abuse – e.g. police reports, court orders such as injunctions and restraining orders, and copies of medical records if you have them.