Taking the first steps to tell someone about abuse is not an easy step, our support workers are here to listen and support you. They will discuss your options, support you to make choices about your future and advocate on your behalf.
Our support workers are Independent Domestic Violence Advocates; this means that they are not connected to any other service or public body. As an independent worker they will prioritise the safety of you and your children and work with you to achieve your goals.
Domestic Violence Support Workers offer emotional and practical support to you around issues such as safe housing, civil legal advice, and support in dealing with the Police and the Courts. Your support worker can talk to you about what you would like to happen and offer some options and choices for you to think about.
What if I am not ready to end my relationship, will my support worker understand? Leaving an abusive partner is a long process and many women leave and return many times before making a final break from an abusive partner. There are many reasons why women stay in abusive relationships and for many women leaving their partner does not mean the abuse will end. Knowing your options and choices is the first step to making an informed decision about what you would like to happen. Whatever decisions you make, we want to ensure that you feel safe and that your voice is heard.
Having a safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children. You cannot prevent your partner’s abusive behaviour however there are some key things you can do to plan for times when you may need to act quickly. Think about some of the things you may already be doing and consider the following;
- Think about how you might respond in a crisis situation
- Keep your phone charged and know where it is; try to keep it with you if you can.
- Teach your children to dial 999 in an emergency and teach them what to say such as their name, address and telephone number
- Think about about who you can trust, a neighbour, friend, family member, somewhere you can go in an emergency. Tell them about the situation and discuss how they should act in an emergency.
- Have some money set aside and keep important documents together; pack an emergency bag and leave it with someone you trust or in a safe/secure place.
- If you suspect that your partner may be violent towards you move to a lower risk part of the house i.e. where there is a way out and access to a phone. Avoid places like the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be weapons and avoid small spaces where you may become trapped such as the bathroom.
If you planning to leave or have left an abusive relationship there are a number of other safety measures to consider, click here to view a more detailed safety plan